The Benefits of Exercise in the Midst of a Global Pandemic
Apr 13, 2020
In the last few weeks, most of us have been feeling different emotions about COVID-19. Your kids may be feeling angry, frustrated, sad or anxious and parents are looking for ways to help them process those thoughts and feelings.
Exercise can be a healthy way to help when kids feel sad, stressed or overwhelmed at times. It’s part of life and being a human. It’s especially relevant now in the midst of a global pandemic. Research shows that participating in aerobic activity can improve mood, boost confidence and self-image, and relieve stress.
Exercise can also help improve sleep, which may give your kids more energy. So, if exercise can do all of these things for us - why not exercise?
There are many ways kids can continue to exercise safely during the current pandemic while sports have been cancelled and there are limitations on groups of people. It is important to take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Here are a few ideas for you do along with your child:
Take a walk or run around your neighborhood.
Take an online class through a local gym - many are providing free sessions right now!
Get on Instagram - many professional athletes and trainers are posting workouts on their stories and pages.
Find a YouTube fitness video to take you through exercises (my favorite are HIIT workouts).
Go for a bike ride.
Climb the stairs a few times - it will get your heart rate up!
Challenge a friend or family member to an activity while maintaining a physical distance of six feet, or use video conferencing. See how many jumping jacks or crunches you can do in a minute, for example.
While stuck at home in the coming weeks it would be very easy for us to lounge around all day. But there are so many ways that you can get out and move your body to help reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Use this time to find what you and your kids like the best!
Briana Crowe, PT, DPT, OCS, completed her doctorate of physical therapy at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. After graduating, she came to Columbus to complete Nationwide Children's Sports Physical Therapy Orthopedic residency program. She is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist.
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