Many struggles and uncertainties have emerged with the current situation, but one thing is certain; our need to move and stay active. Since gyms are not considered essential businesses, most, if not all gyms are closed due to COVID-19, putting a damper on many people’s fitness regimen.
Homeschooling, care-taking, and virtual playdates, on top of all other non-parenting duties, is zapping away any free time to slide in a workout and get the heart pumping. It is important for us now more than ever to not just focus on keeping our mental health healthy, but our physical health as well.
But the million-dollar question is, how? With no gyms, no in-person personal trainers, and no support, how can parents remain healthy and active during a mandatory shelter-in-place order? It’s absolutely do-able. Here are my tips and tricks on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for you and your family.
Get into the Rhythm
With having the kids at home around the clock, it makes it difficult to have a little time for yourself and slide in a couple of workouts a week. For you to get active, you will need to set aside some time—my tip is to establish a workout schedule. I know for parents, like myself, time is limited, so let’s start with tips on how to make time and get moving.
You’re going to need to get organized, build a solid schedule and rely on teamwork. First, you and your partner need to lay down the framework for what will happen every day of the week—it sets the foundation for consistency. Elements to think about include work schedule, homeschooling, family activities and any miscellaneous tasks that are constant in your family’s life such as start/end times and meals/breaks throughout the day.
Second, you and your partner are going to divide and conquer. This will help you both focus on work and obligations to then shift focus on family and then yourselves. Lastly, “teamwork makes the dream work.” Before I set my schedule, I discuss it with my spouse to compare, plan, and adjust our time accordingly to then divide and conquer effectively.
Now let’s get moving. Physical activity can take many forms and can be done pretty much anywhere. An hour in-home workout, running around with the kids in the backyard, and even chores, such as mowing the lawn, can have you breaking a sweat.
Explore the Outdoors
Go outside! Fresh air does the body good, especially when you have been cooped up inside your home for a long period of time. There are plenty of activities you can do outside that will get your heart pumping and make for a great cardio session; running, biking, hiking, even a 30-minute walk.
But wait! Before heading outside, it’s important to keep in mind that practicing social distancing even if you’re outdoors is important to avoid getting in contact with the virus. Like yours, a lot of families are looking to get some fresh air and get active outdoors. When choosing your outdoor workout location, ensure that the area doesn’t have high numbers of people present and has enough space for social distancing if you and your family encounter others.
Try Virtual Workouts
This is a popular way to access quick workouts; all you need is the internet, space, and a little bit of time. From quick 10-minute workouts to 60-minute cardio killers, there are great resources available online that offer countless fitness videos and tips by trainers you can do right in your living room—even your kids can join in on the fun! One thing I make sure of is to look for credible workouts led by certified trainers, reputable fitness organizations such as ACE, NSCA, ACSM, TRX, Peloton, and EXOS.
Play with Fitness Apps
Fitness apps are a great tool to help you stay on track of your fitness goals. Now more than ever, it is important to have someone in your corner rooting you on to keep you motivated. The Trainiac App does just that. With virtual one-on-one coaching, custom weekly workouts, extensive comprehensive progress tracking, the Trainiac app connects you with a personal trainer that builds you a personalized workout plan based on your goals, equipment that you have on-hand and your workout time frame. This will allow you to accomplish your fitness goals in your own space, on your own time, all while keeping your focus on what matters, staying healthy for not just yourself but your family as well.
Establish Healthy Habits
Being active is only half of the commitment to staying healthy; nutritious eating is the other half. For some, being at home has a positive impact on their eating habits; less temptations, no random work snacking, no complimentary sugary drinks, and no end-of-the-day happy hours with colleagues, etc. However, a lot of people are having trouble with keeping healthy eating habits due to easy accessibility and stress
Some delicious and healthy snack combinations to take into consideration are fruits with nut butter and veggies with hummus. Just like we want to limit our processed food intake, we want kiddo snacks to be balanced with proteins and healthy fats. Skip the boxed fruit juices and stick to water or freshly squeezed juices. I’ve found that when my kids help make snacks and meals, they learn more about what they are eating and what good nutrition looks like. Next time you are preparing a fruit salad, ask them to help you prepare it.
Certainly, the pandemic has influenced our personal and family schedules but with some small adjustments, you can maintain some normalcy. You might have to use a milk jug as a dumbbell and have the kids join in on your workouts, but breaking a sweat together just might be the ticket to staying on track with your health and fitness goals during the pandemic.