It didn’t take me too long as a parent to realize that you have to be careful what you tell kids you are going to do as they never seem to forget. “Tomorrow we are going to the park”….tomorrow comes and you get busy and they are all, “Um, I thought we were going to the park?!”
So I decided that the best way for me to get in daily fitness is to get them to encourage me by doing it together.
We came up with a plan. For 1 month, we’ll get in 30 minutes of “movement” a day and by movement, I mean some sort of fitness/exercise. And my promise to them? That along with all the benefits they’ll gain by staying healthy, I’ll also take them someplace to reward them for their efforts – one of those jumpy house places. What kid doesn’t love those, right?!
I printed off a blank July calendar and for each day that they get in their 30 minutes of movement, they get a gold star sticker. (Does that take you all back to elementary school or what?!) I picked up a pack with hundreds of those gold stars at the dollar store. Talk about a simple and inexpensive rewards chart! We also jot down what movement we got in that day.
The other day we walked along some trails for an hour so they each put 2 gold star stickers on their charts for that day. Great way to start us off!
I just wanted to share this with all of you in case you wanted to have a month of movement challenge yourself. You don’t need to wait until the first of any specific month. Just start and go 30 days from that point. The important thing is, that you start!
Here are a few Apps and products that I like that might help:
Map My Walk – I love this one! You can sign-up for Free. I downloaded the App to my phone. Whenever my kids and I start walking, I just click a button and it keeps track of our route, how far we went and how long it took us. The kids love checking out our stats when we are done.
My Fitness Pal – This is a good one for keeping a food journal and exercise log. I just started getting into the habit of logging my meals as I usually have my phone nearby and it only takes a few minutes. It’s so educational to see how calories can add up even when you think you are eating healthy. What I like about this one is your friends can join and you can cheer each other on to help reach your goals.
Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband – I have heard really good things about this. It does have a higher price tag but if in the end it helps you stay healthier, it might just be worth it!
Thermos FUNtainer Bottle – These are so great for helping keep the kids (or even yourself!) hydrated. They sell these at places like Target, too. What I like about the newer generation ones is that they have a handle on them.
This is a great way to spend time with the kids and stay healthy. Here are a few ideas for “movement:”
~Game of Tag (Freeze Tag, Flashlight Tag)
~Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Hockey, Tennis, Football, etc.
~Running – Train for a Kid’s Miler Race
~Backyard Obstacle Course
~Animal Fun (Crab Walk, Bunny Hob, Frog Leaps)
~Red Light, Green Light
~Game of Catch
~Tug of War
~Rope, Rock or Tree Climbing
~Video Games like Wii Fit, Zumba, Just Dance etc. (For rainy days!)
~Hiking – Turn it into a Nature Scavenger Hunt!
~Playing at the Park
~Canoeing, Paddleboats, etc.
~Rollerblading, Rollerskating, Skateboarding
~Karate/Martial Arts Moves
~Jumping Jacks, Toe Touches, Stair Climbs, etc.
~Yardwork – pulling weeds, mowing the lawn (if older)
~House-cleaning: Scrubbing floors, walls, vacuuming
There are so many ways to get movement without it costing you a lot of money. Summer is an especially great time to start this as the weather is nicer and you can get outside a lot more.
I’m hoping you and your family (and friends!) will challenge yourself to get in some extra movement even if it’s just a few days a week!