It’s obviously no secret that the world is a truly mad and uncertain place at the moment. Only last week we made the difficult decision to close all of our gyms for the interim in an effort to keep our staff and customers safe. Whilst we hope you’re following us on Facebook and watching our staff slowly go mad, we are working on a lot of ideas to help you stay sane and keep active during this difficult time. Obviously, no one wants to be in forced isolation or socially distanced, but for now the bigger question should be, how do we handle it as best we can? And no, stockpiling toilet roll is no an acceptable answer.
Smaller, Regular Activities
Probably one of the easiest things to do whilst at home for long periods of time is to be complacent. You might be surprised just how much walking you do in a normal day, even if you have a desk job. After all every step to and from the coffee machine counts! But at home this will be severely limited so we need to make a conscious effort to do a little bit a few times a day.
If you have stairs then you could do steps up and down the bottom stair for a minute and then see if you can beat that score, use your sofa to help you do sit ups, practise press ups or other basic exercises. But none of this is very useful for our little ones.
Try and establish a new routine with your children over the coming weeks. Perhaps do a bit of activity at the same time every day so they get used to it and it will also provide a bit of structure to your days. Use this time to help them with as many of their basic fundamental movement skills as you can and you can make a significant difference without a lot of fuss.
What Kinds of Activity?
It can be easy to try and over complicate any routines and activities that you try put in place. There is a lot of pressure for parents to step into the roll of teachers and other professionals during this crisis, but in truth you’ve got to make sure you are all looked after first and foremost. As such, activities such as children’s yoga and basic stretching and balancing are a great starting point. There are plenty of YouTube channels out there that specialise in children’s yoga and simple exercise routines that can help start the day in a positive way.
If you have younger children, then activities such as rolling a ball with them, or (space permitting) simple throwing and catching can be great for their coordination. With older children it tends to be a bit trickier as they need more space. But there’s nothing to say that they can’t try some exercises that take place on the spot like star jumps, burpees, or squats. Again, they don’t need to do a lot, just a minute or two, once or twice a day can make all the difference.
One of the biggest challenges we are all going to face is looking after our mental health. No one really knows how to handle what the coming months are going to bring, but checking in with our children, taking the time to ask how they’re feeling and making sure we listen to their thoughts (even if they totally miss the point of the question) can be surprisingly empowering for them.
There are also plenty of free resources out there concerning mindfulness. If you haven’t heard about mindfulness, it is essentially the idea of taking care of yourself emotionally by practising breathing and other calming exercises. Helping your children to stop once a day and take a moment to focus on their feelings, or even simply taking a moments break from the world can have amazing effects on our well being.
There are definitely plenty of options out there from video guides to simple audio tracks for you to play and relax with. But investigating a few and finding out what works for you is the key.
There is no avoiding the very strange and difficult times ahead of us all. But trying to face it with a bit of confidence in our ability to at least try and manage our children’s activity levels and basic fitness should be one less thing to worry about for us. We know that all of our families who attend classes at Gym Bubbas are amazing and dedicated individuals that see the importance of gymnastics for their children. So take that strength home with you and help your children manage themselves over the coming weeks.
We will have more information on our ideas and plans available for you soon, but in the mean time we hope that you can take these few basic ideas on board and try to develop a simple routine for yourselves and your children around them. You never know, you might find something that you want to practise more of yourself.
We wish all our families the very best of health over this unprecedented period of isolation and social distancing; and please, join us on the Gym Bubbas Facebook page to keep up to date with all the latest developments.