Before the pandemic, it was rare for our family to be idle without having somewhere to be — a soccer match to play, a play date, a social outing to attend, etc. We are normally pretty active outside of our 2-year-old’s nap schedule. A typical Saturday for my 9-year-old son equates to 24,000 steps on his Fitbit Ace — and that’s just an average “step” day!
Though it’s more challenging some days with two children and two full-time jobs, I have always been active. I love group fitness classes and videos, but walking is my jam, my therapy. The outdoors, the fresh air, the sunshine — I need it every single day. And, I’m happy to see my family following in my footsteps, pun intended.
Since the virus restrictions have changed how we live our daily lives, the meaning of “staying active” has shifted slightly in our household. We’ve become even more active for many reasons, our sanity being one of them.
My 2-year-old is asking for a walk within minutes of waking up each day. I like to start my day with physical activity, so it works perfectly, and sometimes we can get in three miles before my first meeting. We’ve become very competitive with our “steps.” We all have activity-tracking devices, and we keep a close eye on who’s in the lead throughout the day. We even made a step trophy the winner gets to take for 24-hour bragging rights. Some nights, we find ourselves doing laps around the house to get in a few last-minute steps for a photo finish.
As many of us are in our homes more than ever, our health and wellness (and mental well-being) have become front and center. In addition to our step competition with each other and a few extended family members like my dad — who, by the way, at 73 years old gets at least 20,000 steps a day — and my sister-in-law who is an early bird and makes sure I know she’s beating my steps before my alarm clock even goes off, we make sure to get in a family walk every day. We are fortunate to have a great neighborhood to stroll including a woods-lined trail decorated with dozens of birdhouses, wind chimes, and artistic little kid-made structures. In the evenings, we go for a family bike ride. My husband didn’t have a bike, so that was a new purchase in March. The bike business has exploded in recent months — I’ve never seen so many bikes before.
With the parks and playgrounds closed, people are getting creative in how they tire out their children while still getting a workout in of their own. In addition to walking and biking, I’ve also seen people working out in their garages, families doing boot camp in their driveways, people even doing yard work, probably more than average — I did two miles worth of yard work last weekend, and I felt it all over my body the next day. It’s a win-win for your fitness and your curb appeal.
How do you and your family keep active?