April Participant of the Month: Cara Stewart

Active SWV staff and Community Captains have been working hard to provide alternatives to staying active while physically distancing. One of the current online challenges anyone can participate in is the Move Your Way, Southern WV Challenge – Extended Edition. This online challenge asks everyone to look through the Move Your Way(sm) educational website and use the Activity Tracker to make a plan for the week to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Join the challenge until April 3rd.

Additional resources can be found in the Active SWV Resource Library.

The Move Your Way(sm) challenge provides posters, videos, and online interactive tracker to build a weekly plan of physical activity. This interactive activity tracker gives you a list of all the ways your body can move during the day; walk, dance, jump rope, garden, house chores, and many more. The goal is to build enough activities to meet the recommend amount of exercise to keep your body healthy with a strong immune system.

  • Adults should get 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity and two a week with muscle strengthening activities.
  • Teens and kids need 60 minutes of aerobic activity plus muscle and bone strengthening activities.
The first Active SWV virtual Participant of the Month, Cara Stewart, shared her routines and enjoyment of getting active with her family.
“The Move Your Way Tracker is super easy to use. There are several activities that aren’t just gym related. It reminds you there is so much diversity in activities that can be beneficial, such as dancing. We love to dance and it feels good to think about that as something that counts towards our tracker.”

“Before the Covid situation we would make sure to allow time every day to let the girls burn energy. This was usually done by spending around an hour after school dismissal to let them run around their play ground at school. We are fortunate they are able to do this at the New River Learning Co-Op. As long as they have the right clothing we do this in any weather situation. My husband Gabe is great at seeking out events to take them to on weekends which is usually to places that have an outdoor area that the girls can run around freely such as Arrowhead Bike Farm or the New Roots Community Farm. We hike a lot. Especially the trail behind our house. We dance…alot. Its one of our favorites to put music on really loud getting ready for bed or in the morning and dance around. Even when I try to convince them to help me clean, they get to take turns making song requests. Gabe use to the gym early in the morning before work most days and I use to do home workouts or hikes with friends when girls are at school.”

But things have changed with the Covid-19 restrictions, and Carla shares how they have adapted:

  • I have found children’s yoga videos online that they love.
  • We bike around the neighborhood often.
  • We are not hiking as much because we are really tryin to stay away from people.
  • Thankfully the weather has been beautiful lately and has allowed us to enjoy starting the garden and working on our pond project together.
  • We have had outdoor picnics for most meals in the backyard.
  • “Tickle Time” is a must. The girls and I just wrestle and tickle eachother until they have had enough. This has an enormous impact on their mood. The intimate time of being close and the laughter allows them to release so much pent up energy.
  • Gabe has given up the gym for now and is running in the neighborhood and a home work out.
  • I make sure to walk approx 4 miles every day briskly in the neighborhood. This has made a huge difference with my mood. I have found that I get overwhelmed being at home all day trying to balance teaching the girls/cooking/doing my own schoolwork for my masters, and the house upkeep.

These are great ideas to share. Cara adds one more important piece of advice, “I think people are having a hard time focusing on anything but the Covid-19 situation, but that is also why its so important right now for people to stay active in ways that work for them!”

Keep an eye out for more tips and tricks for being active at home on Active SWV’s Facebook page , Facebook group page, and blog.

“This current situation is hard. Finding activities that require movement and activity are essential right now.”

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