COVID-19 is forcing many parents into the role of teacher or assistant to the teacher. With many kids in homeschool and virtual school, parents are more sedentary than ever. Academia is an inherently stationary activity. While younger children can learn while being active, older students have challenging work that requires more sitting time. Without a teacher around, parents have to make themselves available to explain instructions, help with technology, and supervise to ensure their children do their work.
Weight gain while homeschooling isn’t inevitable, though. You can take several steps to take back control over your health and fitness despite an increase in sedentary time.
- Take several short walks. Taking 10 minutes out of your day to walk around your neighborhood can help you get moving. Find strategic times like during breaks between your children’s classes, before lunch, and so on. If your children are too young to leave unsupervised, do a 10-minute cardio circuit in your living room instead.
- Incorporate active time into school hours. While you have to be available to help your children, you don’t have to sit by their side waiting. Start an at-home workout during reading time, test time, or other periods that typically require more of your child and less of you. You can also always pause your workout to help and then jump back into it right after.
- Keep track of your calories. You need to track all your food as well as the calories you burn. It’s easy to underestimate how much you’ve eaten, especially if you graze often. People also frequently overestimate how many calories they burn during their workouts. These miscalculations add up even faster when factoring in increased inactivity.
- Find workouts that you love. If you hate the exercises and workouts you’re doing at home, you’re not likely to stick with them. Experiment with new workouts by browsing Pinterest or free workout channels on YouTube.
- Establish an accountability partner. Having someone to remind you why you’re doing this and cheerlead your progress is a great motivator. Decide what kind of accountability inspires you the most and find someone to work alongside you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
- Reinvent your favorite recipes. If your go-to comfort food after a long day of homeschooling is an unhealthy snack or sumptuous meal, find a healthier way to enjoy it. For example, swapping out mayo for Greek yogurt in recipes reduces calories and fat while boosting protein.
- Sleep right. Homeschooling or virtual schooling often means the typical school schedule goes out the window. Fewer constraints on your morning schedule may tempt you to stay up late or sleep in well past your usual alarm. However, oscillating sleep patterns wreak havoc on digestion and blood sugar levels. It can also increase your appetite.
Pandemic weight gain is a very real thing, as is homeschooling weight gain. Taking steps like the above can help you maintain good dietary and exercise habits. If you’re struggling to lose weight despite your best efforts, we may be able to help. Contact us to learn more about bariatric surgery for weight loss.