SHARING PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR CHILDREN IS NOT ONLY HEALTHY BUT ALSO OFFERS A CHANCE TO SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
By Rachel Goodchild
EXERCISING can be a daunting task but it becomes all the more difficult when you add children to the mix. By the time your day is done, rarely do you have the energy or a moment to yourself to fit in exercising. But wait, there is a solution. What about exercising with your kids? What if, as you are getting in shape and exercising, your kids are content and enjoying themselves and the older ones are even burning some of that extra energy they seem to have so much of?
Exercising with kids can be a fun family-involved time. There are great deals of easy exercises your children can join in with. So let’s get started.
One of the easiest exercises is simply walking. Children love going for nature walks and it gets you out and about in the fresh air. It provides a cardio workout as well. Try having a race with the kids, let them out run and you speed walk for a block. Take the next block off and then begin again the one after. Your kids will be enjoying themselves and getting exercise without even knowing it, and it is a great outing for an afternoon. If you have younger children who are not yet walking, you will receive an even better workout by pushing their stroller or pram.
Another family friendly exercise is bike riding. Going for a bike ride works a whole bunch of different muscles and again can give you a great bonding experience with your children. Take them for a bike ride to a park a little further away from home, to give them a change of scenario and a few more minutes of exercise. Little ones love to be in bike trailers and the extra weight of the trailer and tot can prove quite the workout for mom or dad.
Or if you have a child who loves water, hit the local pool. Children love to play and splash and swimming provides a family fun environment for children and adults alike. You can have fun in the sun, while working on those extra calories.
There are other alternatives, of course. Try some good old fashioned childhood fun. Lot’s of the games we play outdoors with our children provide a lot of calorie burning moments, without us even realizing it. What is an easier exercise than one you don’t realize you are doing! A good old fashioned game of tag can provide an afternoon of cardio, jumping on a trampoline with your children can give you both quite the workout. Or even simple games like jumping jacks can get your heart pumping and the excess pounds melting away.
Of course, if you have a younger child you can easily keep them entertained while you workout. Try using them as your weight. Lie on your back with the child on your legs and slowly extend and give them an airplane ride. You will have a giggling little baby and burning legs and abs in no time flat. Our infants and toddlers love to cuddle and be picked up. Simply playing a game of squatting down, lifting them into the air and squatting back down again is the same as squats but baby gets to join in on the fun.
Having children alone can burn a great deal of calories. It is often the parent of a toddler who is commented about, wondering where they have the energy to keep up. By exercising with your children, not only will you be providing them the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle, you will also be giving them some great bonding time. What is easier than exercise you don’t realize you are doing because you are having too much fun being active with the ones you love.
[You can get in touch with the writer at www.rachelgoodchild.com]
The art of parenting
Tuesday, August 19, 2008