Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
CABIN fever is sweeping the country once again thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions.
Many people have been laid off or compelled to work from home again to maintain social distancing standards and curb the spread of the coronavirus in our little county and country.
Unfortunately for many parents, this means there is a shortage of ways for their children to spend their time constructively outside of school hours.
Where they would before be running and racing to their different sports and extracurricular activities they are now coming home by 3pm and that’s it for the day, not to mention all weekend at home, no sports, playdates or trips, and this can be tricky for parents too who are now working from home and cant log off the computer at 3pm or maybe even at the weekend.
The pandemic has put a hold on social gatherings, large events, family events and visitors to your home, and outdoor activities in many places.
While some parents have allowed their kids to have more screen time following the Covid-19 outbreak, they need to understand the risks of this and the importance of maintaining healthy device usage limits and the upmost importance of exercise and fresh air for their kids and teens during this second pandemic lockdown. More time at home and indoors means less time spent doing healthy activities.
Before the coronavirus lockdown, many children enjoyed playing at public parks with their families and buddies, participating in after-school programs, and enjoying extracurricular activities with their friends.
Older teens may have enjoyed hanging out at public places, and now the coronavirus restrictions have made many of these things impossible.
When people spend more time at home indoors, they generally spend less time doing healthy things like exercising, reading, and creative hobbies. Instead, they turn to television, video games, and social media for entertainment.
As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned for your child’s development and health amidst an unprecedented event like the Covid-19 pandemic.
If your kids have been spending more time on their electronic devices lately because they’re bored, there are some activities that can benefit you, your kids, and your family dynamics by promoting physical health and mental wellness.
Here are a few of my favourite go-to tips:
Enjoy outdoor activities as a family: Take Them Outside During Lockdowns and Enjoy Great Bonding Time. Hiking, family bike rides, and taking walks together are great ways to burn energy, get some much needed fresh air and get the hungry heads out of the cupboards and fridge, and also spending quality time with your loved ones. It’s easy to work in a walk, even for busy schedules, and weekend events outside can provide a breath of fresh air for kids struggling lack of interaction with friends, and boredom, and its great for mom and dad to get the extra steps in too.
Develop a home workout routine: Exercise is good for children of all ages. If you are worried your kids are not getting enough physical activity, a family workout routine can be fun and engaging, especially for younger children. This is also an excellent way to help your kids develop healthy life skills regardless of coronavirus lockdown rules. They will learn discipline, the value of daily exercise, and have access to an easy outlet for their extra energy. There are lots of social media influencers and people doing classes online if you want to get some ideas or make up your on 30-minute routine and join in.
Food: My main concern always for kiddies is nutrition and diet. With childhood obesity such an issue in this country we now need to especially be aware of our children’s food consumption and nutrition. Promote balanced nutrition.
Junk food and takeout are easy options for anyone pressed for time, but eventually, the lockdown diet has a disastrous impact on anyone’s health, and it may even stunt your child’s physical development. Try to keep things interesting by experimenting with new, healthy meals. Turning meal preparation into a family activity can be not only a great way to keep kids and teens busy during pandemic lockdown but also a bonding experience for the family and a home cooked, healthy meal is always best.
Games: A friend of mine recently suggested board games or family games nights to me. You can incorporate board games, card games, drawing games, or even physically interactive video games with your kids to keep them entertained and connected with grandparents, extended family and friends online.
Board games and card games can teach things like risk, statistics, and strategy, and physically oriented video games that involve motion sensor technology can help bridge the gap between screen time and physical fitness.
For example, the Nintendo Wii gets everyone up out of their chairs and active, from the comfort of your living room, as its getting darker earlier these days and the rain is never too far away this is a great idea to keep everyone entertained and more importantly, active.
I hope you find some useful tips in this article this week and it helps in some way. Keep positive and enjoying this time together.