Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Feed off Their Energy!

Don't just sit there...get moving! Better yet, get that family moving, too!!!

Most people with kids would agree that the boundless energy and high activity level our kids maintain can sometimes be exhausting. Have you ever wished you could bottle up some of that energy and use it for yourself... maybe you can!

It's easy to get home from a long day and want to just take a minute to sit down while an excited child is pulling at you to play catch in the backyard. What if instead of suggesting that they find a sibling or neighbor kid to play with, you went out yourself and tossed the ball around? What if instead of just going out to play catch you kicked it up a notch and said I'll play catch after I race you to the end of the street and back? It's hard to fit in opportunities to get your heart pumping, a race to the end of the street would do it!

Finding time for physical activity is becoming increasingly difficult. Instead of working around the schedules of your children to fit it a workout, why not include them and let their energy and enthusiasm spread to you? This kind of thinking can be applied to children of all ages.

Babies - Try putting your baby in their infant car seat (strapped in of course) and do curls up an down. If one arm is too difficult use both arms. Your baby's cute little face looking up at you, and maybe even smiling will be motivation to keep going. You could also swing them back in forth mimicking the motion of their swing. Lots of baby's enjoy their swing, why not swing them yourself?

Toddlers/young children - Piggy back rides!!!! Who doesn't like a piggy back ride? Toss your kid on your back and run around around the family room, the backyard and even go up the stairs! This is sure to bring squeals of delight from your little one.

Play airplane. Lay on your back on the floor and hold your son or daughter under the armpits while supporting the rest of their body with your feet or knees. Go up and down and side to side. Just watch out for drool...

Another suggestion is a lap ride. Sit on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you and put your child on your lap. Sing songs while bouncing your legs up and down. This is sure to elicit giggles and sore thighs or both.

Older children - Go bowling, play active Wii games, go on nature hikes. If your child is in an organized sport, practice with them instead of just driving them to and from practice. Or if you have to drive them to practice and wait, spend the time walking around the park. Maybe you can find another parent who will want to join you.

Go out in the yard and be the goalie, the catcher, the blocker. Go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls or go to the batting cage. Don't just stand there and watch, take a few swings yourself!! Take them to the pool and swim with them. Offer to go on a run or walk with them on the weekends. The possibilities are endless and spending active time with will no doubt turn into quality time as well.

All ages - A family walk around the neighborhood or bike ride through a park is always a great activity to keep everyone moving. Depending on the ages and abilities of your kids, I imagine they will want to keep going and going and going... and you will have to go with them. Now that's motivation!

Feeding off of the energy of your kids is a fun way to get the whole family moving. Instead of making excuses, follow their lead! Their energy can be contagious.

Need some more ideas? Go to FitCity for great activity & nutrition tips for the family!

Do you have a favorite activity you play with your family? We'd love to hear it, take a moment and leave a comment!