The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC – Eating Right Because Our Jeans Are Too Tight


Now that the weather is getting nicer (ahem, unless you live in North Dakota), it’s that time of year when we can take the kids outside and engage in our favorite activities from our own childhoods! How many times have you caught yourself saying, “When I was a kid, we…” only to hear your little ones groan and complain they would rather play video games?? (Surely, I’m not the only one!) Last summer, the twins were old enough where we could have a family game of kickball and everyone (including myself) had a BLAST! Whether it’s going for a walk, a bike ride,  or coaching your child’s sports team, setting a good example can benefit both you AND your child -for a lifetime!

I wanted to share this article I came across:

For many children, biking to the playground and playing kickball in the backyard have given way to watching television, playing video games and spending hours online. But it’s never too late to get your kids off the couch. Use these simple tips to give your kids a lifelong appreciation for activities that strengthen their bodies.

Set a good example

If you want active kids, be active yourself. Go for a brisk walk, ride your bike or spend some time gardening. Kids ages 6 to 17 years old need at least an hour a day of such moderate activities. Three or more days a week should be more vigorous activities such as those that include running or jumping rope. Adults need at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activities.

Invite your family to play catch or to join you on a walk. Talk about physical activity as an opportunity to take care of your body, rather than a punishment or a chore. Praise, reward and encourage activity. Set goals and have everyone track their activities and progress.

“A parent’s active lifestyle is a powerful stimulus for a child,” says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. “You are a role model for your children; set a good example by making physical activity a priority in your life.”

Limit screen time

A surefire way to increase your children’s activity levels is to limit the number of hours they’re allowed to watch television each day. You might limit screen time — including television, video games and computer time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours a day. To make it easier, don’t put a television in your children’s bedrooms, and keep the computer in a family area. Also consider limiting other sedentary activities, such as text messaging or chatting on the phone.

If your children play video games, opt for those that require movement. Activity-oriented video games — such as dance video games and video games that use a player’s physical movements to control what happens on the screen — boost a child’s calorie-burning power. In a Mayo Clinic study, kids who traded sedentary screen time for active screen time more than doubled their energy expenditure.

Establish a routine

Set aside time each day for physical activity. Get up early with your children to walk the dog or take a walk together after dinner. Start small, gradually adding new activities to the routine as you — and your children — become more fit.

Let your children set the pace

For many kids, organized sports are a great way to stay fit. But team sports or dance classes aren’t the only options. If your child is artistically inclined, take a nature hike to collect leaves and rocks that your child can use to make a collage. If your child likes to climb, head for the nearest neighborhood jungle gym. If your child likes to read, walk or bike to the neighborhood library for a book. Or simply turn on your child’s favorite music and dance in the living room.

“Every child is wired differently,” Dr. Laskowski says. “We all have certain strengths and characteristics that influence our interests. The key is finding things that your children like to do.”

Promote activity, not exercise

To keep your kids interested in fitness, make it fun.

  • Get in the game. Play catch, get the whole family involved in a game of tag or have a jump-rope contest. Try classic movement games such as Simon says or red light, green light. If you don’t remember the rules, make up your own!
  • Try an activity party. For your child’s next birthday, schedule a bowling party, take the kids to a climbing wall or set up relay races in the backyard.
  • Put your kids in charge. Let each child take a turn choosing the activity of the day or week. Batting cages, bowling and neighborhood play areas all count. What matters is that you’re doing something active.
  • Give the gift of activity. Make gifts and rewards things like activity-related equipment, games or outings.

“Incorporating physical activity into your children’s lives does much more than promote a healthy weight,” Dr. Laskowski says. “It sets the foundation for a lifetime of fitness and good health.”

Source: Mayo Clinic.

Tags: activities, children, coaching, fitness, Fitness Friday, kickball, Melissa, parenting, setting a good example for kids, sports

Category: Fitness Friday