As parents, it’s difficult to find time to exercise, right? We can all relate. But moving our bodies is a basic part of caring for ourselves. We feel a lot more energetic when we move and stretch. It actually changes the chemistry of our bodies so we’re happier, more relaxed, and our bodies are healthier. We not only look better, we feel better – and exercise offers us the ability to be better as parents.
The secret is setting aside the time to do so. Even ten minutes a day outside together is a great start during the week. On the weekend, you can plan an outing. Before you know it, you’ll have worked up to 20 minutes daily, with an hour on weekend days. Sure, you’ll skip some days. But if that’s more exercise than you’re getting now, you are on the right track!
When you’re confined to the house, play “Take off each other’s’ socks,” wrestling, or chase games. (Games that gets your family laughing! That’s a huge bonus, because you’re helping them evaporate any anxieties they’re carrying around.)
Take family pride in how far you can park from your destination and walk. (“Is this a two block day? Let’s go for it!”)
Let your exercise time double as social time by walking with a friend and child; the kids will entertain each other.
Chasing your toddler all over the playground? Turn it into a positive, get a pedometer, and work up to 10,000 steps a day.
Let each person in the family take turns being the leader while the rest of the family follows, doing jumping jacks, sun salutations, sit-ups, or invented moves.
Load the kids and their bikes or scooters into the car and drive to the track at your local high school or University in the evening or on the weekend when it’s empty. Let the kids ride their trikes or bikes around the track, while you walk or jog.
“FitMama” yoga classes will help you keep good form while you get your stretch on. Classes can be found at your local yoga studio or Fitness Center!
Simply put your “Let’s Get Physical” time on the calendar. Then, choose a fun family activity that requires physical exertion. When you find something you love doing, do more of it. Soon you’ll have a whole repertoire of family physical activities that make everyone in your family happy.
You won’t believe how much ten minutes of movement daily will lift your mood. And when we feel good, it has an almost magical effect on our children. We have a lighter touch, and a sense of humor. We don’t get triggered as easily. All of which makes our kids happier and more cooperative.
You’re also getting your child hooked on an active lifestyle, which is a great counter-balance to all that screen-time in our lives. Kids who are physically active into the preteen and teen years are 75% less likely to be overweight when they’re grown.
If you do this every single day, you’ll all start looking forward to it. Exercise is a great way to nurture yourself and your child at the same time!
Monthly Nutritional Tip:
Teach your children to eat a rainbow of natural colors at each meal. This makes it easier to balance the food groups! For guidance on how much your child should eat from each food group, use the USDA’s helpful guide: ChooseMyPlate.gov
For more information contact the Fitness Center of Thibodaux Regional, 985.493.4950.