| Hi Taylor:
Like everyone else, I've been stuck at home with my kids a lot more
than in years past. I'm a little worried about the toll it's taking
on my mental and physical health. You've got kids-any tips for how
to do my work, keep my kids alive, and salvage my health? - Dani
Hi Dani: This is a great question that I'm sure a lot of people
have on their minds. I know my wife and I have talked about how we
can stay sane plenty of times over the last year. You can get specific
exercises from personal trainers and such, but I'm happy to throw
out the things we've found helpful.
whenever you can. During the first few weeks of the kids being
home, every spare moment saw me hunched over a phone or a computer,
trying to catch up with the work I felt was slipping away. Meanwhile,
my back and hamstrings were screaming at me not to forget about
them. If you can take that phone time and do it on the floor with
your legs stretched out, or in a doorway with an arm pulled back,
your body will feel less abused. Then the brief workouts you can
manage will be more productive and you should sleep better as
well. It's hard to lift weights while you're typing, but you should
be able to figure out some stretches.
2. Cardio playtime. A few exercises I've tried out while hanging
with my kids, each to varying degrees of success: push-ups with
a toddler on my back; squats while holding a kid on my shoulders;
long-distance hide-and-go-seek; see who can jump the highest;
and sit-up high-fives. At no point did these home workouts result
in washboard abs, but every time I can at least get my heart rate
up while managing a tiny child army, I feel a lot better about
myself the rest of the day. People have a tendency to avoid brief
bits of exercise because it's "not enough" or "won't make a difference."
If your options are to jump in the air twice or do nothing, you
might as well jump.
3. Go outside. So easy and so hard at the same time. You
have to get on jackets and make sure everyone's used the restroom
and bring water and maybe a snack-all that prep work makes it
feel like you'll never get out the door. Once you do and everyone
gets a breath of fresh air, collective joy instantly goes up.
Every child will say they want to sit and watch TV, but a trip
outdoors clearly makes them much more energized and happy. Just
as importantly, it helps your mental health to break the monotony
and get out of the house.
| Check in with
actual fitness experts for effective exercises. In the meantime, hopefully
these minor activities can make you feel a little better about your
day. Sending our best to you and your family!
© Taylor Kovar
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