These last few months have been very stressful for families. With uncertainty about a wide range of things like job security to schooling from home to the availability of toilet paper, we are dealing with new levels of stress and anxiety. The changes to our environment and routines affect everyone and that includes our kids and their access to physical activity.
From organized sports to PE and recess in school, the pandemic has meant these activities have been either cancelled or greatly limited. As a result, CPCMG pediatricians have seen an increase of the following health issues in our offices:
- weight gain
- difficulty sleeping
- digestion issues
- headaches (and difficulty keeping focus on school tasks)
- chest pain (and feeling short of breath)
- suppressed immune system
- anxiety and depression
Physical activity can reverse many of the health issues listed above and relieve stress while increasing endorphins. Yes, it can be challenging with limited access to parks and other public places during the pandemic, but you should focus on what you can do:
- Take a family walk, run or bike ride.
- Check out a family-friendly exercise video or make your own dance video (and maybe it share online). Set up a Zoom dance party with family and friends.
- Get outside and play tag, hide and go seek or create your own “Lava” course.
- Go camping, even if it’s just in your yard or living room. Build a fort with cardboard boxes or use chairs and blankets.
- Play at game on the beach! Beaches are less crowded now that it’s cooling down (just double-check to make sure your favorite beach is open).
It is easy to feel as though there is not enough time or energy to do any of these activities, but they are important to your family’s health and mental well-being. Try to find a rhythm with a daily scheduled routine. It may be challenging at first but will soon become second nature. Find an activity you enjoy so that it is something you look forward to. These are different times and will require trying new things and being creative. Though it will take some effort, it is critical kids and adults stay active to help get through the pandemic. If you have questions or need help getting started, please reach out to your CPCMG pediatrician.
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