The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everyone’s lives in some way, including how we exercise. One thing that most people have in common in regards to the pandemic is that we’ve all had to stay at home more. Some states are starting to see more surges in positive cases, initiating more “social distancing” orders.
Maybe you’re working from home, or your kids are taking part in e-learning. Or, maybe you’re just trying to stay home as much as possible for the health and safety of everyone. Whatever the case, spending that extra time at home gives you the perfect excuse to exercise as a family.
It’s easy to push off healthy habits when things are busy. You might tell yourself you don’t have the time, or you’ll focus on your health and fitness later. But, if you’re spending more time at home, why not take advantage of it and get the whole family involved in staying healthier?
Exercising together is a great way to get through this pandemic and teach your kids the importance of being healthy from a young age. Let’s look at some ways you can get started, and why you should make exercise a part of your regular routine.
The Benefits of Exercising
We probably don’t have to go into all of the incredible benefits exercise can give you. Almost everyone knows exercising is a great way to:
- Lose weight
- Build muscle
- Boost energy
- Reduce your risk of certain illnesses
- Improve your heart health
But, the benefits of exercising as a family are even greater. Not only will it strengthen your bond, but you’re setting a great example for your children. About 13.7 million children in the U.S. are considered to be obese. Teaching your child healthier habits from a young age can help them to avoid being a part of that statistic, and increase their chances of living a healthy, long life.
Exercise is also great for the family because it can boost your mental and emotional wellbeing. This pandemic has been hard on everyone. It has created extra stress, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and even grief over things you may have lost. Children aren’t immune to that kind of stress, and their mental health needs to be taken care of, too. Studies have shown that exercise can boost your mood, reduce stress, and even increase feelings of happiness.
Finding Places to Stay Active
Because of the pandemic, many gyms across the country have either temporarily closed down or are only allowing people in with strict restrictions in place. It might not be the ideal location for family exercise, at the moment. But, you can find plenty of places to get in a workout with your family if you’re willing to get creative.
If your child doesn’t want to get up and start moving, make it fun for them. Try some of the following options to make them feel like they’re playing, rather than exercising:
- Have a dance party
- Go hiking outside
- Take the family pet on a walk
- ‘Play pretend’ by letting your child invent a game that involves movement
You can really turn almost any situation into an opportunity to exercise. That includes family chores. Picking up toys, vacuuming, and washing windows can all be great ways for your kids to get moving. Since winter is coming, things like shoveling snow or even building a snowman can also get everyone’s heart rate up.
It’s important to make sure everyone is staying properly hydrated if you’re active. Make it a habit to keep water on hand at all times. Try to avoid drinks like sodas, coffee, and anything with too much sugar. They can actually end up dehydrating you and making you feel jittery.
Setting Up Your Own Space
With winter just around the corner, you might not feel like heading out to a gym or going outside as much to get a workout in. Thankfully, if your family has been bitten by the exercise bug, you can set up your own successful space at home. It doesn’t matter if you live in a house, or even a tiny apartment, you can get creative when it comes to designating a particular space to exercising.
Setting up your own gym, if you have the space, has many benefits. You can exercise whenever you want, you don’t have to worry about spreading germs from other gym-goers, and you can focus on the things that you want most in your workouts. Setting up a home gym can also save you money on equipment and membership fees, so everyone in the family can get involved and you won’t have to pay anything extra.
Even if you don’t have the space for a lot of equipment, you can still get in a great workout at home with an internet connection and a screen. There are so many fitness influencers and workout instructors with free videos online that can keep your whole family motivated and inspired.
No matter how you choose to do it, staying fit with your family during this pandemic can help to cure boredom, bring you closer together, and create new, healthy habits that will last a lifetime.