Out of School, Out of Shape?!
Out of school does not need to mean out of shape! It’s typical at this time of year to struggle with trying to exercise with the kids home from school or trying to stick to a workout routine while at the summer cottage, the beach or out of town for summer holidays.
Many people decide to take a two month sabbatical and get back on track in the fall because they can’t seem to find the time to get to a gym. Instead, let’s get our kids involved and teach them to love an active and healthy lifestyle! The key is to make it fun for the kids! Bonus – it will make sure that all your fitness doesn’t go to waste over the summer so you don’t have to start from scratch in the fall!
Here’s some tips for an active summer for the whole family when the kids are home from school:
I learned a long time ago that if I want my kids to enjoy and not whine and complain during an active outing, I needed to make sure they brought a friend. It was a night and day difference to how the day went.
Get Out Into the Woods
It’s true that if you allow kids to choose, they will gravitate to their cell phones and video games. It can be addicting! But if you force them to put away their gadgets, and take them out in the woods, at first they may resent it, but soon they will be exploring, laughing, running, and jumping. It’s good for their souls!
Head To The Water
Kids love water and they can get hours of exercise just swimming, splashing around and playing and not even realize the high level of activity they are getting. Try paddle boarding – it’s a fun way for a family to get on the water while getting a fabulous workout.
Head To The Park
Kids can play at the jungle gym while you run laps or use some of the apparatus for your own workout. Or you can play too! Nothing like making you feel young again when you’re playing tag, hide and go seek, sliding down a slide or swinging on a swing!
Let’s Go Riding
Jump on your bikes and go explore. It’s a great way to see the city and our area hosts tons of paved trails so you can ride safely away from traffic.
Grab a Frisbee, basketball, volleyball, badminton racquet….whatever you got, just use it and play with your kids. It’s fabulous, active, quality time together.
Everyone is motivated by a reward. So set the expectation and what we can look forward to if we meet it. For example, you could say “We’re going to go on a bike ride and if there is no whining and complaining, I’ll take you all to lunch.” Or “Let’s go for a hike and then I’ll treat you to ice cream afterwards”. Or “Let’s go kayaking and then I’ll take you to a movie.”
Try to do something active with your kids every day this summer. Kids who exercise can experience the following benefits (adults too!!)
- Daily physical activity builds a healthy heart and stimulates muscle and bone growth
- Healthy, fit kids have more energy, sleep better and often have better eating habits than their sedentary peers
- One six year study found that the academic performance of students who exercised regularly had significantly improved compared to students who did not participate in regular physical activity
- It appears that children benefit from better concentration, memory, creativity, problem-solving ability and overall mood for up to two hours following exercise
- One report states that exercise can boost a child’s self-confidence and self-image. It also reduces aggression and decreases anxiety and depression.
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com or www.facebook.com/nwpersonaltraining Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.