all know that one of the keys to good health is movement, daily if possible. And not just any kind of movement, we mean exercise which means that little old heart rate must go up. There are lots of ways to make that happen. Most of the time as long as you aren’t injuring yourself my advice has always been “Go for it.” But times are a lot different right now, and the normal avenue to exercise at the gym, pool, yoga classes, personal trainers and workout studios are closed. The reality is that many of us without that place to go get our exercise which means we simply drop off the exercise bandwagon.
The other reality is that with working from home, many people aren’t moving as much as they used to; the walk to and from your car, the walk down the hall to the bathroom or going shopping helped us get more daily movement. These organic movements are reduced so how do we keep up our health and movement while working from home?
Cardio exercise is shown to be very helpful especially for respiratory illness recovery because it allows the person to not only survive the sickness but to recover faster.
As a mother with children I want to give them the healthiest running start at life with more health habits put in place for them so as they grow - these healthy choices just feel natural to them. (For example, try not to over salt our food so they don’t develop an excessive appetite for salt and etc.)
So here are some of my favorite family friendly suggestions for movement, because I believe if you like the activity then you will do it more.
Wheeled sports: roller blading, skate-boarding, scootering -these all can work for various ages to increase our children’s speed so that if you need to get a walk in at the end of the day and want it to be fast enough to get your heart-rate up this can be an excellent way. Just be warned they will get so fast that you may have to run at some point to keep up with them!
Running/Interval walking: I am putting it this way because I do encourage most people to try some light jogging to get their heart rate up. My parents who are in their 60’s have worked up to the point they now run a mile during their walk time and have reported vast health improvements. What is also of note is that they have found that when they go much over 1.5 miles they both have knee pain and foot pain so 1 mile works for them. Find what works for you.
Biking: I didn’t include this in other wheeled sports since it requires a bit more effort to go out whether for yourself or with a family. I love to feel the wind on my face while I bike, but I do find I am more comfortable with bike shorts on. I have also discovered that depending on your children’s age, it may not be a sport you can do regularly until they are big enough to keep a decent pace. When they are very young, you can sometimes get your heart rate up running to chasing them.
Online classes: I bring this up because some of us need to be paying someone to keep us motivated and by paying someone, it forces us to show up to class. Many workout places are offering these online trainings during the pandemic but they exist even when there isn’t COVID-19. I would also like to recommend trying some of the millions of workouts on Utube - but I warn you- it is important to know your body so that you don’t get injured by doing a class that is too intense for your training level.
Walking/Hiking: Getting into the fresh air of nature just can’t be beat. If you are walking on a trail with an incline, it will get the heart rate up and being outside has always been shown to reduce stress levels -so get outside whenever possible.
Just have fun; never do an exercise you don’t like because you will only do it once or twice. One of the classes I have always liked and have found myself doing with the help of some Utube videos right now are TRX, and I have them put up in my garage. I love the way it works the whole body even the tiny muscles on the ribs. Get your kids involved in exercise so that they will have this habit set from a very young age making them healthy adults.