Stay in Shape Safely During the Pandemic
These past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions brought on by the public health crisis our nation is facing.
Most of us have gone through initial feelings of concern to now feeling anxious, frustrated, sad, and even angry with the situation. And these feelings are not only affecting adults; they are impacting our children as well.
While the extensive physical distancing policies put in place to the slow the spread of COVID-19 are necessary, our bodies and minds still need exercise to stay healthy.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
The Benefits of Exercise
There is a direct relationship between health, diet, and exercise. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential when it comes to our physical, mental, and even social well-being. Yet regular physical activity is equally important.
Having a sedentary lifestyle can increase our risk of developing chronic diseases and permanent loss of movement. Additionally, a lack of physical activity can also harm our immune health and lead to weight gain.
On the other hand, regular aerobic exercise helps improve our mood, boost our confidence and self-image, improve our sleep quality, and relieve stress.
For these reasons, keeping active during the coronavirus pandemic is essential.
Tips for The Whole Family to Exercise at Home
When you think of starting a workout routine at home, you should also consider including your children. Physical activity has proven to improve a child’s physical health, as well as provide cognitive and emotional benefits, including enhancing their attention span and mental and emotional well-being.
Set Realistic Goals
Sure, most of us wish we could compete in a triathlon or become a high performing athlete. But one of the top reasons starting a workout routine fails is because we set unrealistic goals.
Setting unattainable short-term goals can crush your family’s motivation. So, start by setting small, easily attainable goals. Make sure to include your kids in the conversation to learn what they wish to attain.
Here are some examples of easy goals to set when you first begin:
- Go for a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood as a family at least five days a week. You can increase the length of your outings progressively.
- Do three sets of 15 jumping jacks or squats every day. Increase the number the sets as your physical condition improves
- Hold a plank position for 30 seconds, increase this progressively and make it a competition to see who can hold it the longest
If your primary purpose is to lose weight, don’t make the mistake of saying I want to lose 50, 60, or 100 pounds. Slow, steady weight loss provides the most benefits, and it can help you keep the weight off longer.
A good starting point is to set a monthly weight loss goal of 5-10 pounds. Meaning you will lose 1-2 pounds per week, which is very achievable.
The practice of setting small achievable goals can help motivate you and your family and start you on the path of creating long-term healthy habits.
Make it Fun
Most of us think of exercise as a necessary evil. We’ve programmed ourselves to think of it as an unpleasant chore on our to-do lists.
But physical activity should and can be fun and enjoyable for everyone in the family. The first thing you should do is add variety to your workouts. If you always do the same exercises, then you will get bored, so include both outdoor and indoor activities. From riding a bike, walking, or swimming if you have a pool, to joining an online workout program you can do from home.
Make sure to include activities that promote flexibility and stretching, as this can help increase your balance and prevent injuries.
Here Are Some Ideas for At Home Physical Activities for You and Your Kids
- Exercises that use your body weight, such as push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and mountain climbers
- Jumping Jacks
- Dancing – Put on your favorite songs and do a dance-off
- Balancing on one foot – Helps improve balance and muscle strength
- Hopscotch -You can either use tape or chalk on your floor, driveway, or patio
- Fill up a balloon or beach ball and don’t let it touch the ground
- Crab walk or bear crawl races
- Jump rope
- Do a Hula Hoop contest
To help prevent injuries, we recommend you start slow and increase both the length and intensity of your workouts progressively.
Trying to do too much at once not only increases your risk of getting injured it can also frustrate your efforts.
Common Exercise Injuries and What to Do About Them
It’s worth mentioning that a workout injury can happen to anyone. Regardless if you are starting or if you are avid gym-goer injuries are part of life so don’t get discouraged if you suffer one.
Common workout injuries include:
- Muscle pull and strain
- Sprained ankle
- Wrist sprain or dislocation
- Shin splint
- Shoulder injury
- Knee injuries
If you or your kids get injured while exercising and you experience severe pain, difficulty moving the joint, or have acute inflammation, don’t wait. Visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center to be evaluated by a physician.
All our centers are open, and we follow strict safety protocols. When you visit us, you are in the best hands.