The Lockdown Guide: How to keep your family physically and mentally fit!

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The world is in unprecedented times, where many countries are under lockdown. Though the measures are crucial to slow down the spread of Covid-19, it has also caught people off-guard. Most are confined within their homes, and this can have an impact on physical and mental well-being. A sedentary lifestyle can have its implications on our body and mind. More than ever it is crucial right now to take care of our family’s well-being. Good immunity and a great state of mind are what we need to build up.

Being physically and mentally active is a great way to lower stress levels, build on our immunity and it releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone that makes people happy. So how do you keep yourself and your family active and stress-free during a lockdown?

Routine Up!

Start by making a routine for the day. An unexpected change in the routine can put adults and kids off the track, so set a routine for the entire family. A routine timetable helps in goal setting and responsibility-sharing for everyone. Based on the timing of the day – morning, afternoon, evening and night, assign various tasks to everyone. It will keep everyone engaged and will have something to look forward to.  

Play is great exercise for the body and mind!

Kids bubble with energy and channelizing their energy within the confined area of the house is a task. Make game-night plans for them. Board games are entertaining for the entire family and give the much-needed family bonding time. It is educative for the kids and does not require a great deal of planning. You can choose board games like monopoly, Pictionary, or Luma World’s Terra Loop, which are not only fun but educational too. In case you don’t have any games at home, don’t fret. One great initiative by Luma World are Print ‘n’ Play games. You can either print out the entire board game and play or even make it from scratch. Just follow the instructions! How cool is that, right? 

Games are great skill-building activities for the kids. Children learn a lot through board games like educational concepts, team building, communication and logic. Like Archana Thakur and her family. They come up with innovative games and book reading sessions for the entire family. She says, “These activities have helped us to hold together to drive away boredom and anxiety. The kids enjoy these gadget free activities and it brings out the child in us too. We feel more youthful playing with the kids.” 

Try some Art and Craft!

According to research, art reduces stress and anxiety. The act of drawing, connecting lines, colouring and painting has a calming effect on the mind. Keeping the mind at peace is important in the current scenario when news can get overwhelming. Reserve a dedicated ‘Art hour’ each day for the entire family. Pick up a theme and ask everyone to draw around this theme. You can also add a fun angle by making it a competition! 

In the wake of this lockdown, many drawing and DIY classes are happening online. Enroll yourself and your family for one of these classes. Another interesting thing to do with your kids is painting a wall. Select a wall that you would like to have a makeover, brainstorm with your kids on the kind of things that they would like to draw. Varsha Shetty, a working professional and a mother to a 7-year-old kid gave a makeover to one of their walls by painting it with her son. She says, “My son enjoyed the wall painting activity so much that he wants more of it. It kept him engaged and off the gadgets.” 

Any activity can be fun with family!

Likewise, you could also have a musical night with members of the family performing. If painting and music is something your family is not comfortable with, then indulge in cooking and baking. Kids love to help, include them in simple tasks in the kitchen like cleaning vegetables, measuring ingredients, and older kids can even help in cutting the vegetables. Make it exciting by planning a menu with your kid. Simple things like measuring ingredients can teach math’s concepts like fractions to the children. With the schools shut, this is an interesting way to involve the kids in learning without the textbooks. 

Let’s talk about physical health!

It is equally important to keep yourself physically active. Humans are meant to be active. Don’t allow the lockdown to put a stop to your fitness routine. Research shows that being physically active helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It keeps our immune system in check and helps the body fight infection and illnesses. 

Running and walking is a routine in many people’s lives. So what do you do when you can’t go out, yet want to ensure that you stay fit and healthy? There are ways you can stay active and continue your fitness. You just need to be a little creative. First, if space is not an issue in your home, then you can have your runs and walks inside the house. Your house balcony, terrace and garden are perfect spots for your walks, and for more mileage, you can use the entire house and have loops. Also while attending calls, you could walk around the home to burn some calories.  

You can also continue your workout routine without having any fancy equipment. Simple household things can be substituted for your workout equipment. For resistance exercises, you can use water bottles replacing dumbbells, use chairs for arm exercises and step-ups can be done on stairs and so on. You can also have kids be part of your exercises. There is no better weight-lifting than lifting your kids, but carefully. They will add that additional challenge to your workouts. Whatever you do, remember, safety comes first!

Dance your troubles away! Then, brighten up with some Yoga!

Any activity that raises the heart rate is good for cardiovascular health. This also includes dancing, just put on the music and let your hair down. Dancing non-stop at least for an hour is equivalent to a good cardio workout and, not to forget, it's fun too. Get the whole family to choose their favourite songs (just one or two per member) and create a fun playlist. Don’t forget to record all the fun moves everyone comes up with!

At the other end is a relaxing and calming effect of Yoga. It’s a great way to start the day and the entire family will benefit from practising  Yoga. It is a great way to keep one self physically, mentally and spiritually fit. All-round wellness, what can be better than that! You can also get inspiration or follow workouts online; many fitness trainers are taking classes online. Just pick one that you’re comfortable with and get your whole family in on the act!

In these desperate times, we can’t control the uncertainties surrounding us, but we can definitely control our overall well-being by staying active, spending time with our family, eating right and by having a positive attitude. Let’s make most of this quality time by improving our lifestyle, making our entire family healthy and, most of all, create some wonderful memories. So, stay fit and stay safe. 

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