During the month of February, I don’t know about your family, but around here our thoughts start turning to Spring Break, sunnier weather, and enjoying more outdoor time! As mommas, to us, Spring Break means kiddos around the house during the day and probably some big changes to the normal schedule that week. You might be thinking……how am I going to keep up my fitness routine? Keep the kids from getting bored and not sitting in front of the TV? How can we stay active? To help you plan ahead to Spring Break, and into Summer, here’s a few ideas on how you can involve your whole family in some fitness!
Workout card games. These are equally entertaining indoors or out, weather permitting. Depending on how creative you’re feeling, there are several ways to organize your game. FitDeck makes some awesome preprinted playing cards you can use right out of the box. They have several different decks, including kids and prenatal versions. If you keep playing cards around, those can easily serve as a great workout game. Just set a basic exercise for each suit (like push-ups, sit-ups, squats, or jumping jacks). The number on each card serves as the number of reps you’ll do of that exercise. You can set a bigger number for face cards, aces might be for rest. Then set a timer, and start flipping cards! If you’re feeling super creative, make your own using markers and index cards. Kids will love it and you’ll all break a sweat!
Training for a cause.
Here in East Texas, we are blessed with a large number of local family friendly 5Ks, many of which feature a kids dash. Registering and setting a family goal of participating in one of these races gives meaning to evening and weekend walks and will also motivate everyone to stay on track. A few of these upcoming races include the FRESH 5K and Lil Freshie, Tyler Run for Autism, Children’s Miracle Network 5K, Azalea 5K and Kids Dash, Komen Race for the Cure, and the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk. If you’re looking for something a little different, themed and obstacle races are also available locally, including the Weekend Warrior Race and the Color Up 5K. All of these races and events support charities, your registration dollars are put to work, in most cases, here in East Texas.
Nothing like cranking up some tunes, and let everyone show off their moves! No equipment, no organization needed. Set up a playlist if you’re feeling super organized. Spotify has both free and paid versions, giving you access to a huge music library with a variety of playlists.
Walking or running trails.
Weather permitting bust everyone out of the house, hit up a local park or trail. You’ll find trail walking recruits a lot of extra leg muscles, and the fresh air usually results in a successful naptime! The Tyler area is fortunate to have some great options for this, including Tyler State Park and Rose Rudman’s South Tyler Trails. Trails.com is a great resource for looking up different trails to visit in our local area and beyond. If you’re not wanting to venture far from home, neighborhood walks or jogs are just fine too.
All else fails, enlist technology.
Nowadays, there are tons of ways to use gadgets and game systems to keep kids and adults alike moving. These are life savers when the weather isn’t cooperating. Most gaming systems such as the Wii or XBox Kinect have one or more fitness, dance, or sports themed games that use player movement as the controller. Another gadget that will keep your older kids moving is the use of fitness trackers. With the Fitbit, for example, you can set up challenges between family members, keeping kiddos engaged in their activity level throughout the day. Lastly, exercise breaks during TV watching pass commercial time and are a fun way to stay active. Kids can challenge parents on how many reps everyone can do of a certain exercise during a single commercial, make a game out of it by doing certain exercises for certain words spoken, or maybe using a jump rope or running in place until the show or movie comes back on.
Remember, the idea here is keeping your family active, that’s what counts! As long as you’re moving and spending the time together, it really doesn’t matter how fancy or elaborate the workout plan may be. You’re establishing healthy, lifelong habits with your kids. It probably won’t take long for them to start bringing you new ideas on how to keep fitness as part of your family’s activities. That’s what it’s all about! Hopefully today you’ve found some ways to get started, or some new ones to add to your list!
We would love to hear what local parks and trails you and your family use to get outside!