Coronavirus Chronicles — Stay Home, Stay Fit

Must we say it? These are difficult times. For mental health at home, Nina Renata Aron offers suggestions gleaned from the 12-step program paradigm. Even if just one of these ideas makes life better, well, that’s an improved life. Of course, readers will want to consult Aron’s article on Medium for details, but here are the subheadings:

Take things one day at a time
Take it easy
Don’t just do something, sit there
Stay in your lane
Pray or meditate
Let it go
Be grateful
Value people

The Childhood Obesity Foundation of Canada makes some recommendations for mental health, and appreciation is also high on its list. Never mind the birthday parties unplanned and the theme parks unattended. Cultivate gratitude for the survival of loved ones, and the communication channels that are still open — even if the technology is frustrating.

Sheltering in place provides a great chance to find out whether all that stuff about getting enough sleep is actually true. Some people have been too busy for years to even keep track of whether they are drinking enough water. This is a splendid time to pay attention to seemingly humble matters like sufficient hydration.

For those with food available, having everyone at home is a wonderful opportunity to cook and eat together, preferably with nutritional consciousness. The uncredited author says,

Involving the entire household in planning and preparing meals also has many benefits. It shares the workload, helps to develop planning, shopping and food preparation skills in other family members, and builds a sense of belonging within the family.

Remember, parents and adult family members are role models. Kids will learn from what you do.

This article also points to online resources for staying physically fit with minimal equipment: Active For Life, Flaghouse Activity Channel, and Y Thrive.

From overseas, Rhys Gregory reports that “A pioneering exercise programme for kids has been launched in North Wales amid fears the Covid-19 lockdown could lead to a huge increase in childhood obesity.” He directs readers to the Bangor University video series Dynamic Dudes, which “teaches children how to perform a wide range of key moves in martial arts, dance, football and gymnastics.” The program is designed for ages 4 to 11, and offers three difficulty levels — Beginner, Advanced and Peak Power — and is specifically adapted for families stuck in apartments.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “12-Step Strategies Anyone Can Use for a Better Life,”, 04/14/20
Source: “Steps Canadian Families Can Take for a Healthy Lifestyle During the Covid-19 Pandemic,”, undated
Source: “University Experts Come Up With Dynamic Videos To Help Lockdown Kids,”, 05/15/20
Image by Honza Soukup/CC BY 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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