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Amid nationwide lockdown, what can keep children healthy at home?

Staying cooped up indoors can be stressful for children. It's one of the reasons they look for a virtual escape

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Coronavirus | Healthy Life | diet

K Shanmugam 

yoga
The safest way to exercise indoors is by developing a habit to practice yoga

As the nationwide lockdown keeps over 260 million home, it has become increasingly important for parents to monitor their screen time. From browsing and playing online games to spending more time on social media and watching videos online, are constantly exposed to the harmful effects of screens. The pandemic has also left parents scrambling for alternatives. Most of them are worried that the new habits their are likely to form could last much longer than the lockdown.

Can yoga help?

Staying cooped up indoors can be stressful for children. It's one of the reasons they look for a virtual escape. However, as every parent knows, a child need to get a lot of outdoor activity to stay healthy.

Excess screen time and lack of outdoor exposure can have adverse effects on their mental and physical health. The safest way to exercise indoors is by developing a habit to practice yoga. It can be more fun if you join them. Not only does Yoga enhance strength, flexibility, coordination and awareness, it also improves concentration and promotes relaxation. Teach them to do it the right way and they will continue to practice it even after the lockdown is lifted.

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The biggest challenge in teaching yoga to children, of course, is holding their attention. Luckily, children love to move and talk, both of which can be used to make yoga a more fun experience for them. Start with poses that lets them assume positions of animals, flowers, trees, and warriors. Parents can even turn it into a bonding experience by doing it together. Just set 45 minutes aside every day.

essentials

Most households have two working parents, and in the absence of external help, they might not have the time to cook proper meals during the lockdown. Readymade meals and processed foods are high in unhealthy fats and sugar. If you find yourself in this situation, quickly whip up a fruit salad with apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple and berries topped with yogurt. The vitamin C in oranges is an important defence against infection. Apples and pineapples are rich in antioxidants that help fight cell-damaging free radicals. Berries help boost memory and reduce inflammation. The yogurt helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome, thus regulating the metabolism and protecting the body from infection.

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While it may take some time for things to get back to normal, parents have to make sure that their kids are prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The best way to do it is to engage your kids in a productive manner while paying close attention to their lifestyle and It is important to ensure that they do not feel like they are being forced to do it, especially at a time like this. So make sure you involve them while planning their lifestyle routine and consider their preferences.

First Published: Sat, May 02 2020. 22:09 IST