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Five Ways to Be Active as a Family

As a child, life seemed to move slowly. I remember summer felt like it lasted years. I remember being an active child. I was always outside after school or in the summer playing with friends, riding bikes, going to the park, playing sports and you always knew to head home when the sun set. I did not own a cell phone or have any technology devices.  Most all of my childhood memories were spent outside and active.

As I grew up life seemed to speed up and each year, I feel as if it moves quicker. Being a working mom and trying to stay active and keep your child(ren) active seems impossible at times.  By the time you pick your kids, drive them to all ends of the town to their extra activities, put dinner on the table, finish homework and get ready for the next day it seems the day has come and gone and staying physical gets put on the back burner.

As I reflect on children being active and staying physical it seems a lot less than when I was a child. Children seem to play more on video games, most elementary children I know have a cell phone. Technology is where it’s at.  With that… children are moving a whole lot less and this is leading to a whole world of other issues.

As a busy working mom and wife, I am very intentional with my time to stay active with my child. I schedule it in for every morning and evening. I am going to give a few tips of how you can stay active with your child even if it’s just for a few minutes:

  1. Evening walk– my 18-month-old absolutely loves walks.  We take one every evening.  My daughter knows every evening after dinner we take a walk and begs me to put on her shoes as I clean up dinner.  Even if I don’t have much time, I will just get outside for 10 minutes to get moving.
  2. Combine play time with exercise– Shoot hoops. Kick around a soccer ball. Go bike riding with your kids or have races to see who can make it across the yard fastest. Or jog along as your kids ride their bikes or trikes. When at the playground, don’t just sit and watch the kids play. Join in! Or, run around the area, so that you can go for a jog while always keeping the kids in sight.
  3. Dance– there are many fun videos on YouTube for the whole family to get you up and moving. Just Dance is a popular video game, but you can actually play it as a family on YouTube.  I personally love The Fitness Marshall, just search for them and this can be a few minutes of fun for the entire family! Put on your favorite dance music, call out to the kids, and start a rock or boogie party in the family room.
  4. Home workouts– I use a home workout system called, Beachbody On Demand. I work out 30 minutes per day every morning before my daughter wakes up, but some days she joins in with me.  She loves to cheer me on and try it right along with me.  You’d be surprised how much your children would love to do it with you.
  5. Make it a game– while cleaning up, doing daily chores, or transitioning. We must complete 10 jumping jacks before we get into the bath tub.  Now we must run in place for 10 seconds before getting in the bath.  Now we must jump from the bathtub to the bedroom.  Make it a game and make it fun. You can get your steps in right along with your child

With anything, consistency is key.  Give it a try for ten to thirty minutes a day and you will have the heart pumping while having fun with your kiddos!

Guest Writer: Jen Taylor, Early Childhood Consultant at Wayne RESA GSRP

Author: Wayne RESA - GSRP

Great Start Readiness Program is a Michigan state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children with factors which may place them at risk of educational failure. The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start. Funding is allocated to Wayne RESA to administer the program locally. These blogs were developed and funded under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education. Research on preschool programs and specific research on GSRP indicates that children provided with a high-quality preschool experience show significant positive developmental differences when compared to children from the same backgrounds who did not attend a high-quality preschool program.