Rain fell on the first day of spring March 19. A kindergarten boy, a week removed from never wanting to go back to school, looked out the window. He’d do anything to see his school bus. To be in class with his friends. To eat school lunch. To go outside for recess.
“Can we go outside and play baseball,” he asked.
“Sorry son, not today,” his father replied.
Reality is sinking in each day with the news. Social distancing is here to stay. We may be at home for a while.
Finding a routine with our children, getting their energy out in a positive, healthy way, is something that will help us get through this all sane.
So, I turned to social media. A friend showed me “Go Noodle” on YouTube. Apparently the kids love it. It’s short videos to get the body moving.
Our boys also enjoy “Cosmic Yoga” on YouTube. Host Jaime Amor uses popular movies or childhood stories to create yoga stories. Of course, “Star Wars” is the most played in our house.
By the third day, though, these ideas were a bit worn out. We needed another opinion. So I turned to Kristin Weinzierl, personal wellness teacher at Chaska Middle School East. A mother of three young children, cross country coach and Lifetime Fitness cycle instructor, she started to brainstorm.
We all know we’re in for a challenge these coming weeks, maybe months, maybe a year. Weinzierl loves a challenge.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you,” she once wrote. “In all of my jobs, I work to inspire, lead and be the change. I enjoy helping others achieve goals and balance life’s pressures. Never settle for anything less than you are capable of.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 60 minutes of exercise a day. Weinzierl said you can split this up throughout the day. She suggests adding in muscle and bone strengthening activities three days a week.
AEROBIC AND CARDIO
For children and adolescents 6-17 years old, try “Just Dance” kids workout beginner (16 minutes), “Just Dance” kids and parents workout moderate (26 minutes), “Indoor Recess,” and “Go Noodle,” all of which are available on YouTube.
Weinzierl added active recreation outdoors remains on the table. Just be smart with social distancing, keeping a suggested 6 feet from others.
Walking, jogging, biking and hiking are all good ideas. Throwing and catching a ball. Jump roping. Hula hooping. Four square. Hop scotch. Tag. Flag football, build an obstacle course, play soccer, tennis or dodgeball. The options are endless.
Have the kids do some house chores as well. Vacuuming, raking and sweeping all move their bodies.
For adults, Weinzierl suggests utilizing workouts from our local gyms.
Lifetime Fitness offers on-demand classes not only for cardio, but for strength as well as yoga.
YMCA announced March 19 a new on-demand exercise platform called YMCA 360. It’s designed to help you, your family and friends engage with the YMCA virtually from the comfort of home. Popular group exercise classes such as boot camp, barre and yoga taught by YMCA instructors are available now at no cost with more content on the way this month and April.
If your spouse didn’t buy you a Peloton bike for Christmas, the workout app currently has a 90-day free trial for live and on-demand classes for a mix of running, strength, toning, cycling, yoga and meditation.
MUSCLE AND BONE STRENGTHING
In addition to “Cosmic Kids,” Weinzierl suggests “Yoga for Kids” for these activities.
A mix of resistance band exercises or light dumbbells, weight machines — keep it very light — body weight workouts, push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, planks, squats, lunges, wall sits, stairs and jumping jacks should keep your children getting stronger.
Weinzierl, who maintains her own website, Fit 4 Life, offers run coaching and virtual fitness challenges.
“I strongly believe in living a lifestyle that is not strict and involves a healthy balance of being a mom, a wife, a friend, a co-worker, a coach and a motivator,” she said.
Whatever you can do to move their bodies, go for it!