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Kovar Capital: Staying active during the pandemic

Hi Taylor: Like everyone else, I’ve been stuck at home with my kids a lot more than in years past. I’m a little worried about the toll it’s taking on my mental and physical health. You’ve got kids—any tips for how to do my work, keep my kids alive, and salvage my health? - Dani

Hey Dani: This is a great question that I’m sure a lot of people have on their minds. I know my wife and I have talked about how we can stay sane plenty of times over the last year. You can get specific exercises from personal trainers and such, but I’m happy to throw out the things we’ve found helpful. 

Stretch whenever you can. During the first few weeks of the kids being home, every spare moment saw me hunched over a phone or a computer, trying to catch up with the work I felt was slipping away. Meanwhile, my back and hamstrings were screaming at me not to forget about them. If you can take that phone time and do it on the floor with your legs stretched out, or in a doorway with an arm pulled back, your body will feel less abused. Then the brief workouts you can manage will be more productive and you should sleep better as well. It’s hard to lift weights while you’re typing, but you should be able to figure out some stretches. 

Cardio playtime. A few exercises I’ve tried out while hanging with my kids, each to varying degrees of success: push-ups with a toddler on my back; squats while holding a kid on my shoulders; long-distance hide-and-go-seek; see who can jump the highest; and sit-up high-fives. At no point did these home workouts result in washboard abs, but every time I can at least get my heart rate up while managing a tiny child army, I feel a lot better about myself the rest of the day. People have a tendency to avoid brief bits of exercise because it’s “not enough” or “won’t make a difference.” If your options are to jump in the air twice or do nothing, you might as well jump. 

Go outside. So easy and so hard at the same time. You have to get on jackets and make sure everyone’s used the restroom and bring water and maybe a snack—all that prep work makes it feel like you’ll never get out the door. Once you do and everyone gets a breath of fresh air, collective joy instantly goes up. Every child will say they want to sit and watch TV, but a trip outdoors clearly makes them much more energized and happy. Just as importantly, it helps your mental health to break the monotony and get out of the house. 

Check in with actual fitness experts for effective exercises. In the meantime, hopefully these minor activities can make you feel a little better about your day. Sending our best to you and your family!

Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.

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