I never thought that I’d be writing a pandemic-related column, but here I go. Covid-19 is here! Isn’t it ironic, the document I opened to write this column, was titled: ‘Go Outside’. Here, almost three months later, I could easily rename this ‘Stay home – stay inside. However I chose to use the same words many of you are already familiar with: ‘Stay together – apart’ because it is so important that we stay apart for a while, so we can come out of this TOGETHER. I want us all to get out on the other side, with our loved ones all here: With our sanity, our moral, our soul and our body, all intact.
I know there is a lot of complex economical, societal and individual questions in the equation, but in the grand scheme of things – for the sake of lives and the sake of our healthcare workers – my column is about staying home and making the best of it.
My advice is to go out ALONE for a walk, jog or run every, or every other day. Fresh air is balm for the mind and soul and exercise calms anxiety and produces endorphins and dopamine, which lift the mood – something we all can use these days.
As I’m writing this, I’m at the end of my second week of lockdown/quarantine (We’re not sick, at least that we know of) and despite taking on home-schooling for my now four-year-old, John Ellis, we’re actually having a good time – and one of the reasons for this, I dare to say, is my ‘home-training’ motorskill-training course, which I do once a day for 20-30 minutes with my little guy.
I set up things a little differently every day: Some days we roll out the yoga mat and put a little step stool in the middle to make jumps from, three sofa pillows to jump/run across and a boxing handwrap to walk the line on. We use all three installments in the course, so we switch from one exercise to the next. And I have a station for push-ups and DB exercises for me – which John Ellis loves to take part in too.
Other days we catch and throw balls or balloons, do bike-rides just outside the door or we do crawl-chase in tent tunnel. What matters most in this, is that we’re having tons of fun, while we move, learn and adapt. And it’s not just my little guy who is training. I am joining in too – so much fun for both of us.
If you have kids at home these days, and the weather is not good for outdoor activity, I strongly suggest that you set up a little course inside. If the weather is great and you have a garden – take the equipment outside. A garden is a perfect place for play. But set up a physical activity for all of you. It’ll brighten the mood, release some of the pent up energy kids have and get some of the worries and stress of being home together all the time to disappear at least for a while.
Protip: Make the course age and motor-skill appropriate for the kids. Remember to have good distance to sharp corners of tables and chairs and hard walls, especially if you are including jumps. Also if you’re using pillows like me – be aware they might get ruined. Also, of course, no shoes. If you have older kids, you can add a push up or sit up station, dumbbells or kettlebells, or any other exercise you like. Play music if you like to train with music. Set a kitchen clock timer and go have fun.
What this will give you – besides the benefits of physical activity for mind and body – is a stronger bond with your kids, as you get to laugh and move together and, it gives a good natural break in the home-school day, giving renewed energy to do other activities later. I know it’s not for everybody to jump around on sofa pillows or play catch crawling in play tents, but if you give it a try, chances are you’ll get so much more in return. Your mood will lift, your body will burn extra calories and most important of all, your child will look at you with the biggest smile on their face, because you played, jumped and crawled with them, just like a super hero.
Finally If you’re looking for inspiration to train at home, there are many trainers live streaming training from Facebook and Instagram these days (I might join the ranks on Instagram one day soon – I think it would be a lot of fun to interact with the world through training and I would love to help anyone stuck at home to still be active).
You can find trainers with different backgrounds, such as yoga, fitness, crossfit, zumba and so on – trainers aimed at kids etc. So if you’re interested in trying different things out, it’s never been easier than now. Search for what you like to try and try it from the comfort of your living room.
My own Instagram (www.instagram.com/trainwithadane) also has lots of ideas for programs and featured exercises, both aimed at beginners and fitness folks like myself. Finally you are of course always welcome to reach out and write me – as always comments and questions are welcome on: firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.instagram.com/trainwithadane
I hope you are all well and healthy and I hope you will join the worldwide ‘STAY TOGETHER – APART’ movement from your home.
So stay safe, stay active, stay together – stay at home.