In a world of Zoom meetings, conference calls, and virtual learning, it can be difficult for families to turn away from the screens and get into their bodies. As leaders strive to maintain a balance (and a separation) between their home and work lives, many have taken to incorporating physical time into their family time.
Discovering health and fitness as a family is a great way for parents to get moving while instilling smart lifelong habits in kids. And with families spending more time together than ever these days, it’s never been a better time to cook a healthy meal or engage in a brand-new fitness activity together.
In honor of Family Health and Fitness Day this Saturday, September 26th, which was founded in 1996 by the Health and Information Center to promote family involvement in physical activity, Pioneering Collective asked some of our members to share how they’ve gotten more creative during the pandemic, in order to focus on health and fitness with their families.
From a hike in the great outdoors to a sweaty gym session in a living-room-turned-fitness-studio, here’s what they had to share. We hope their stories will inspire your own family fitness journey!
Jamie Gerrits, Executive Director, Specialty and Strategic Solutions at Aetna
With COVID and a broken arm, we took the opportunity to explore local options like the hiking trail we drove by every day on our commute to work for the last 15 years! The trail led to a beautiful view and allowed the kids to discover some of the wildlife along the way, like a turkey vulture nest. To pick up our step count, we also instituted a mandatory family walk after dinner. While the kids initially moaned and groaned, they inevitably started chattering about their day or debating names for our quarantine puppy. And, of course, we also relied on our standby winter activity when the weather wouldn’t cooperate: a competitive game of “Just Dance” on Wii.
Brian Hilberdink, Senior Vice President, Commercial at Novo Nordisk Inc.
One positive aspect of our socially distanced lifestyle is the amount of physical activity my family now engages in. During the summer months, we had the benefit of being able to work out of our Canadian lake house, which was a great opportunity for plenty of kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and hiking. Now that we’re back at home in Princeton, NJ, we’re one of the households that have contributed to the demand for home fitness equipment! We’ve all become recent converts to a new digital gym which incorporates a virtual personal trainer into everything from weight training to yoga. And with more time to cook, we’ve been using some of the different meal kit services. Not only is this food higher in nutritional content than our pre-COVID routine, it’s also resulted in greater variety in our cooking!
Borjana Fermaud, Director at Catalyst Advisors
Taking advantage of the last summer days, we decided to escape the city and go hiking with friends. Nothing is better than being able to catch up with good friends under an open sky and getting some exercise for the whole family. We didn’t realize how much we missed this and have already planned our next hiking trip. Hopefully, this time we will get to see some colorful leaves.
Blandine Lacroix, Corporate Vice President, Biopharm & Strategy at Novo Nordisk
Working for a company whose purpose is to defeat Diabetes and change obesity has informed many of the decisions and investments we are making at home to live the healthiest life we can for today and our future! Unless we are star-gazing on a Saturday night, I try to stick to our regular bedtime as much as possible. We spend time together unwinding before bed, usually reading a book or talking about what made us happy that day. With COVID, we brought the gym sessions to our living room via virtual engagements with my trainer and Sophie often set the gear up for me. The funniest thing was last weekend when I heard her little voice coming from the other room saying: “come on Mum, less talking and more gym, please!”