Fitness and health are my overall passion. But what I also would like to work hard at is helping to eliminate childhood obesity.
Looking back on my own personal childhood, there was not a time where I would beg to stay inside and play. Yes, I was lucky enough to be one of those kids who was athletic. But, at the same time, I also remember running around OUTSIDE with the other children I knew and grew up with. Seeing today’s society and dangers does not allow children of today to roam their neighborhoods freely like I did back in the 80’s and 90’s. But there are things that parents can do to get their kids away from the TV’s and game consoles!
One great thing is to impalement physical activity time during your family daily routine. I know when I was a kid, we had a routine when we got home from school. Get home, do our homework, read for an hour, dinner time, some nights were family fame night, then off to bed. Granted we did not get home until 6 or 7 (or later some nights) but each family can plan their own family post school/work day routines. Why not work out as a family? Yes, some gyms do offer discounted rates for family memberships but some people can not afford that expense each month. Here are some suggestions that you can do as a family:
The family can plan a special route that they walk a few nights a week (or even jog! If there are more children in the family you can offer a competition and have them race at certain points in your route). You can walk around the neighborhood or if there is a nearby park. You can maybe even do it right after school when you pick the children up (seeing as most schools have fitness tracks or fitness areas at their school).
Family Boot Camp:
A few nights a week you can create a Family Boot Camp workout. This can include moves that ALL members of the family can complete. This is a great idea because each member of the family will also work as a support system when someone needs a little encouragement to finish the selected workout move. You can choose to do certain moves for a selected period of time (for 30 – 60 seconds) or you can say you have to do that move so many times before you move on to the next move. Here are some suggested moves that you can incorporate in your family boot camp:
- Jumping Jacks (It is good to have this exercise be timed. Set a clock or watch for approximately 1 minute to 2 minutes) This is also a great exercise to do to help get the family warmed up! Don’t forget that it is important to warm up and stretch before your fitness routines!
- Push Ups (this is also a great move to do but to also time it. To start off it is a good idea to start at 30 seconds and as you do these more and get better at doing them you can add time to this exercise).
- Crunches (also called “sit ups”)
- Jog in place or run for a certain distance (If you are having to move your workout inside due to the upcoming cold weather running in place is a great idea. Make sure to lift your knees and to actually go through the motions of running. You can also set up cones or any other things you have available to have family members run that distance and back for a selected amount of time.)
- Jumping Rope
- Running up/down stairs (This is good to do if you have the space to do it. Please BE CAREFUL if attempting to do this. Make sure that no one is rushing to go up or down the stairs to help eliminate a mistake which will allow someone to fall and hurt themselves).
- Chair Dips (Thanks to this article look at the following picture to see how to correctly do a chair dip. Make sure to find a good sturdy chair and a chair that is also big enough to use).
- Straight Arm Plank (Thanks to this article for describing this move. You will want to time this move for about 30 – 60 seconds. It is wise to start off at 30 seconds and raise the time once you have done this a few times)
- Squats (thanks to this website they have listed TONS of variations of squats that you can do at home. They have also listed as well as show you many different exercises you can do at home with a partner or by yourself)
You can also try these simple Yoga moves that the whole family can try!
It is suggested that you work through the above listed exercises 3 times (go through all of them once and complete them again in 2 different sets). After you have done that you can alter the workout to better fit your family and your time schedule.
Hope that these tips helped you out. The best way to help your kids is to teach them healthy habits starting now! This will allow them to continue to practice these healthy habits as they grow up and become adults. I promise they will thank you later for it!