I don’t know about you, but it feels like Groundhog Day over here…anyone else? It is a constant mix of emotions, mix of information, and the feeling of uneasiness with not knowing how everything is going to pan out. With the instability of the world and events, I find that if I can create at least a little bit of stability in our day, then we all feel a bit more relaxed and have some normality. And there is no shortage of reports that show stability and consistency is important for children and their behavior.
One important mind-clearing, energy-creating, endorphin-releasing actions that we can do each day is to complete some kind of physical activity, like going for a walk, riding bikes, and lifting weights. The World Health Organization recommends that the average person get 2.5 hours of moderate or 1.5 hours of intense exercise every week, but with gyms and recreation facilities sadly closing down and limiting access due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many families might feel puzzled as to how to maintain their health and fitness. However, now, more than ever, we need to make sure to get some sort of physical fitness accomplished to improve our cardiovascular strength and improve our overall mental health.
One of the best activities that we can do for our bodies is strength training. Lifting weights in essential in combating lower abdominal fat, reducing cancer risks, strengthening mental health, and boosting brain health, among many other benefits. In addition to strength training, aerobic exercise is also important as it improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps to regulate blood sugar, reduces asthma symptoms and chronic pain, as well as aids in sleep.
So how can we work, care for our kids and their schoolwork, cook, clean, and find time to get in some sort of physical activity each day? As a homeschooling mom of two young boys, I know the struggle all too well! Here are some tips that work for me:
Wake up early. My kids wake up pretty early, so I try to wake up before they do and get as much done as I can while they sleep. If I don’t get my workout completed in the morning, it is likely not going to happen. My favorite morning activity is to walk as the sun rises. I leave my house just as the sun is starting to rise and walk for about 30 minutes. I usually always leave one ear pod in so I can listen to my Bible app while I walk, but also listen to nature and the birds. It is so calming and starts my day off in a positive, uplifting way.
Find a program. I found a DVD program through a popular fitness company and use that as my guide. Once I completed it a few times, I was able to skip watching the video and just follow my written plan with the workout schedule. I also personally love the Tone It Up app. I love the online community and the variety of the workouts. My boys are always interested in lifting weights and working out with me, so I usually try to complete my weight lifting during the day. However, some days I like to get it done by myself. We have implemented a daily “quiet time” so my kids have their own toys, their own room, and a break from each other. During that time, I clean, re-organize, and complete my workouts. In addition to apps and DVDs available for purchase online, there are a myriad of gyms and fitness companies offering free workouts online and on social media.
Move your body every day. I have noticed that if I skip two days in a row, it’s ok! However, if I skip three days in a row, I am likely to fall of the proverbial wagon. I aim to only skip one day, every couple of days, or workout 5 days in a row with one rest day. However, on my “off” days, I still try to find some sort of physical activity, whether it is my morning walks or family bike rides.
Involve your children! Do a push-up challenge with the whole family, see who can curl canned goods the most, compete in a plank challenge, do standing calf-raises to music, ride bikes as a family, go on a walk/run. Be creative and find new ways to workout together and make it fun!
Whatever you decide to do to stay active while quarantines, make it enjoyable! You are more prone to stick to a program that you like, so make it fun, change it up, and include the family.
Lauren Greci lives with her two sons and husband in Little Elm, Texas. She is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, homeschooling momma, and editor at Frisco STYLE Magazine.
Lauren enjoys spending weekends on the lake with her husband and kids, loves Jesus, enjoys cooking and baking healthy, organic meals for her family, as well as gardening, reading, and traveling.