The coronavirus is spreading fast, calling for many cancellations including schools, sporting events and even some workplaces are recommending their employees to work from home. How do you keep you and your family active during this time?
Children are used to being active while at school, whether that be during P.E. class, at recess or with organized sports after school, so without these types of activities, parents need to find alternatives.
Parents should get their children outside when possible, said LJ Mattraw, wellness manager at Franciscan Health Fitness Centers.
"The first thing to do would be to get them outside," Mattraw said. "Even if you don't have a huge yard there is always a park close by. Take your kids to the park and play with them. You can do a game of tag or even play some basketball with them."
Parents should set the example of being active, even if it means adjusting routines to take fitness indoors.
"If we make it a part of our routine and the rest of our family can see us doing it, they'll be much more likely to participate," he said.
Many times children will want to do what their parents are doing, so it is important to set this example of fitness and staying active.
"Even if mom and dad are trying to get in shape just bringing your kids with you can help get them interested in fitness," said Selena Ceja, performance coach at Franciscan Health Fitness Centers.
Benefits Of Staying Active
The coronavirus and resulting schedule and routine changes can cause stress and anxiety on everyone in the family. Physical activity is important for everyone, no matter the age. Some benefits of physical activity are overall better physical and mental health.
"Adults who participate in 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day typically have better health throughout their lifetime," Mattraw said. "Physical activity also has been shown to decrease stress levels in people. Living an active lifestyle also encourages people to eat healthier."
This is the same for children because their physical activity has an influence on their health too. "Although many people may not realize kids often get stressed too," Ceja said. "Physical activity can help them with dealing with that stress they may be dealing with."
Physical Activity And Fitness At Home
Incorporating physical activity doesn't mean you and your family have to leave home. Try to do activities together as a family.
"One way is by doing a fitness video with them such as Zumba on the TV for the girls or for the boys doing some high intensity videos like Insanity or P90X," Ceja said.
Turning everyday activities into games or fun activities will also help.
"Incorporate games with chores," Mattraw said. "Start by making a to-do list such as chores and make it a race, the last person to complete the task will have to do an exercise."
Be encouraging with your family and try to do things that will want to get active, indoors or out.
"Although this may seem minor, watching sports with kids can help influence them," Mattraw said. "A lot of the times when kids watch sports with their parents regularly it becomes something that they can bond over."
Check out more preparedness tips as well as coronavirus myths from the World Health Organization on our Pinterest board.
By Ariel Anderson
Social Media Specialist