Snack Time is Up, While Exercise May be Down
With gyms closed, fitness classes canceled, and social distancing in full effect, Lansing parents need alternative ways to fit exercise into their new normal. I am just like them.
I have a confession to make; I eat Butterfingers all day long.
Generally, this isn’t that big of an issue because I am not home all day long. I never considered it a problem. Until recently, my first Butterfinger wouldn’t meet its demise until late afternoon.
But in this new land known as Covid-19 Quarantine, those Butterfingers make it into my hands much, much sooner. Sometimes in my house, I have a Butterfinger breakfast. And I can’t go anywhere to work off the extra calories.
Dealing with Added Stress and Reduced Opps to Work out
This is a problem. If you find yourself in a similar situation of stress-eating and reduced exercise, you are not alone.
What I really hate admitting more than anything is quarantine’s effect on my kids; their screen time is up and our family exercise level is down. Hello, mom guilt, nice to see you again.
Maybe your older kids are a little too friendly with Minecraft these days. Maybe your teenager is FaceTiming with their friend too much. They need to exercise as much as we do and without recess, PE class, school sports, and playdates, their fitness has taken a hit too!
Exercising During Quarantine? Simpler Than You Might Think
I am here to talk about easy ways we can stay fit during quarantine without ever needing a gym. Let’s start with the most obvious ways to stay active while at home.
Fit in Fitness With Items You Have At Home
1 – Go for a Walk
You read that correctly! The simplest, quickest, easiest way to stay healthy while maintaining social distancing is to get outside and go for a walk. You could get fancy and make it a jog. If you want to show off, sure, run a little. Run your heart out. Run the stress off. Run away from your kids, kidding of course. Run with your kids. Put those babies in a stroller and make it a family activity.
Got a furry friend? Me too! They need to move just as much as you. Leash those puppies up and get outside. Listen to the sounds of the Michigan jungle we live in or pop in some headphones and just jam out for a bit. I took my own advice and went walking with my two girls. It felt great.
2 – Jump on a Trampoline
Okay, sure, this one is a little specific because you need a trampoline. But if you have one, get on that bad boy and jump for ten minutes. I guarantee you will be breathless. Your heart needs that cardiovascular bounce. Your lungs crave that oxygen. Jump with your kids; they just want time with you.
3 – Keep Grounded with Yoga
Yoga is one of those amazing activities you can do in a small space without the need for extra equipment. It is perfect for at-home exercise. Not to mention, it is a calming activity. You heard me right, a calming activity.
Between the demands for milk, toilet training, newborn screams, tantrums, enthusiastic squeals, and floors consistently covered in cracker crumbs, a little yoga is a perfect activity to bring a little zen back into your life. Plus, kids actually love yoga! They are proud to show you the new poses they learn and can bend in ways we wish we could.
- In Lansing, Just B Yoga and Hilltop Yoga instructors currently stream live classes.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga has free episodes on their site and on Youtube. If your child is like mine and really goes nuts for Cosmic Kids, you can sign up for a two-week free trial and a subscription for under $10 a month.
- Adults, Core Power Yoga offers all their on-demand classes for free during social distancing.
4 – Ride a Bike
Got a Bike? Yeah, me too. Dust that guy off and take it for a cruise around your neighborhood. Make it a family affair – pull your kid if they are small, have them ride if they are tall.
5 – Jump Rope
Let quarantine take you back to the darling of your childhood: the good ol’ jump rope. Jumping rope is a total body cardiovascular workout, plus its super fun with all the rhymes. Take it to the next level with double dutch.
6 – Tag, “You’re It“
How do you turn running for an extended period of time into an exciting family game for all? Tag! Only ten minutes of the game of tag will burn around 100 calories. Take that, Butterfinger.
7 – Mow the Lawn
Mowing the lawn is the underdog of at-home family fitness. It is surprisingly hard to push that machinery through the grass. Raking leaves is the mower’s younger cousin. Instead of viewing these common activities as household chores, think of them as sweat equity.
8 – Amp up the Burn with Housework
I hate typing this as much as you hate reading it but the truth is, vacuuming an entire house is a pretty good workout. Mopping is hard on your arms.
Been waiting to do that home improvement project until you have the time? Well, the time is nigh, my friend. Painting is a good workout. Demo-day is here. Channel your inner Chip Gaines and smash some stuff.
Fight the “Quarantine 15” with Virtual Workouts, Apps and Streaming Options
Admittedly, my first activities are family-centric, meaning you can easily do them with your children. Sure, you could play tag alone but it isn’t nearly as fun. But with gyms closed and babysitters unable to come to my house, I miss my alone time and I’m sure you do too.
If you want a more adult-focused fitness experience here is a list of free (or nearly free) workout options, including Lansing area centers offering virtual exercise and fitness classes.
1 – YMCA – The YMCA of Greater Lansing offers a wide selection of their classes online with their new platform YMCA360 including cycling, yoga, bootcamp, HIIT, and youth classes. All are offered free during social distancing.
2 – Arika Cole from Barre Code East Lansing – Arika holds live videos for FREE on her Instagram page. They are fun, challenging, and you’ll sweat!
3 – Shay Conley-Whitley/ Champion Fitness and Boxing – Shay usually holds her X-Treme Hip Hop with Shay Step Class at Champion Fitness and has been live-streaming her classes on Facebook each Saturday morning. Join her class here.
Just because you can’t go to your favorite gym anymore doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. Get outside, use the resources at your fingertips, play with your kids. Most of all, be happy every time your heart beats from the exercise; it means you’re healthy, safe, and capable!