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Play With Your Child At The Park

fun in the sun

The park is a great place to play year round in any season. I’m in the Northeast and many people in this area think of the park as a thing to do in the Summer or in warm weather. But playing outdoors is great all times of the year. When I was coming up we played outside year round and rarely ever came indoors.

Only when it was frigid outside did we bother to come inside. Our fingers were numb and blue and we looked like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, which was some feat as I am caramel in color. We would come in and drink hot chocolate to warm up.

In the winter, Read more »

Fun Fitness With Your Kids

Two Young Men (16-20) at Soccer Training

You know you should exercise more and you also want to spend quality time with your kids, but, after a hard day of work you just want to crash. Here’s a fun activity that will require some energy but not as much as an entire workout. The thing you’ll love most about this activity is that it involves you watching television.

Really? I get to watch my favorite t.v. show. Almost, as I tell my students, actually you’re going to watch your child’s favorite kids show. The only requirement is that the show has to have commercials. Commercials are normally about two minutes in length. During the commercials you are going to chase your child around the sofa or general area until  the program comes back on.

I know you are like what, chase my child. Yes, I am saying to chase your child. I am recommending it because chasing and being chased is a lot of fun. You will be filled with joy as your child is screaming and laughing. It’s only for two minutes so this should be a piece of cake. The reason why I want you to run is because it is only two minutes and then you can sit down and catch your breath. Running will get your heart rate up and cause you to also use a lot of oxygen. You will notice you will feel much better and a little bit energized when you sit down.

Your child will love it and think it’s a fun game. Remember to give them a little head start first. Make sure the area is free of toys and safe to run in. Make sure all expensive items are safely out of the way. If you don’t want to run you can do things like marching in place, jumping in place, running in place, jumping jacks or pushups. You and your child can decide. You can even do this if you have more than one child.

If they complain and give you a hard time about doing it no problem. No exercise, no t.v or electronic gadgets, they will have to study their school work even if they have no homework, you will find something for them to do. I think they will chose to exercise. It’s up to you as the parent to really sell them on the idea though. So maybe don’t call it exercise may be call it playing chase, or whatever the two of you think of. Those famous words” You can’t catch me.” , should be enough to get them started.

Please try it and let me know how it works out. You can let me know by commenting below. You can also comment if you’d like to share what works for you. If you have a show that the entire family watches you can use that too. Please share this post with family and friends online or off. Have a great day! :-)

Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Play

“Play” what kind of images does that word bring to mind. As an adult when I hear the word “play” I get excited. I feel happy and very willing to participate. I think about other words like fun, joy and happiness. Now how about these words “work out” or ” exercise”. Did you feel your body just sink? Do you feel energized and invigorated about taking part in this activity. Not so much right, you can think of all the things that need to get done and that are really more important than working out or exercising.

Why is this important to explore? Our children are influenced by how we feel about things. If we don’t have enthusiasm about a particular topic or subject, they are likely not to have it either. If they see us dragging ourselves to the gym or studio or complaining about going to work out, how happy do you think they are going to be about doing it.

It would be a lot easier to get our children involved if we looked at moving our bodies from the aspect of play. In our minds we would feel much better about doing it also. Let’s play catch. Let’s play kick the ball. Let’s play hopscotch or jump rope or who’s got the bean bag or swing on the swing in the park. In all of the mentioned activities we are moving our bodies burning calories and hopefully we are also having fun.

THE BENEFITS OF PLAY

When you play there’s no time limit. You are so lost in the activity and having fun that you don’t even think about the time. You have a big smile on your face and you feel great. You are probably laughing and acting silly and goofy. You will probably notice that your competitive spirit starts to come out and you want to win. This drives you harder to do your best so that you can win, which calls for more energy and more time.

Sure you may get a little winded but you can always call a time out or take a break. You don’t have to be perfect or do anything perfectly but you do have to do something. Get going and get active is the name of the game. You will be spending quality time with your child or children. You will also be leading by example and this is great for your child.

ALL KINDS OF GAMES ARE A GREAT FORM OF PLAY

So start to look at the things that you and your child can do from the aspect of play. Even silly party games like pin the tail on the donkey and cracking open a pinata get the body moving and burn excess energy. If because of work and timing you aren’t able to participate allowing your children just to play at the park or team sports are excellent forms of play also.

Lastly, you child might not be ready for team sports yet. Think about creating a play date with some of their friends where it is centered around some activity where they are moving their bodies and not just sitting and playing videos game. Skating is a great activity that comes to mind. If you child is more academic than athletic why not try word hop scotch.

Try these suggestions and let me know how they turn out. If you have had success with something different please share it with us, we’d love to hear from you . Also please pick up a free ebook on healthy eating and activities that you can do with your child at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com

Easy Exercise That You Can Do With Your Child: It Only Takes A Few Minutes

It doesn’t need to take a lot of time to do this exercise with your child. A couple of minutes is fine. This particular exercise is a balancing exercise. This exercise will benefit both you and your child and bring balance internally, in the mind and externally, in the body. Your child needs to have mastered walking so this would be great for children 3 and up. You do not need a lot of room to do this exercise mainly you will be using a lot of vertical space as opposed to a lot of moving  around.

THE TREE POSE

This exercise is actually a pose called the “Tree”pose in Yoga. It helps both you and your child to develop focus and concentration. It creates balance in both the mind and body and is also very calming and relaxing. It will strengthens the legs, ankles, calves and feet as well as the front and back part of the thighs.

TO PREPARE FOR THE POSE

1. Stand straight and tall with your feet together toes  and heels touching. Arms at sides.

2. Tell your child to imagine that they are a big tree in the forest, or right outside.

3 Tell them to imagine that their legs are growing and stretching down into the ground going very deep and this will help them to stand tall.

4 Imagine an imaginary hand pulling their hair up towards the sky like leaves on a tree.

5. So you are both stretching up in the air and down into the ground at the same time.

6. Remember to breath deep and slowly. Tell your child to breathe in a lot of air slowly.

7. Lastly stare at a point in front of them, it can be a wall or an object.

DOING THE TREE POSE

1. After standing still for about 30 seconds, put all of your weight on your left leg.

2 Raise your right foot up to your ankle and place it there with the bottom of the right foot on the left ankle.

3. Tell them to hold it there without falling as long as they can.

4. That’s it switch sides. You’re done after that.

Children love a challenge and love to win. Make it a game to see who can hold it the longest. Please know that this is a balancing exercise so explain to them ahead of time that it is okay if they have to start over and do it again. To help them with balancing you can have them lean up against a wall in the beginning. They can also have something in front of them like a chair, desk or table. Initially just until they can get their balance they can have their arms out at their sides parallel to the floor. With practice they can then move the leg up higher and also their hands to prayer position in the middle of their chest or up over head in prayer position.

This is a great calming activity that helps your child to be calm and help with focus and concentration. This will also help to strengthen their legs, ankles and also stretch their bodies. It doesn’t require a lot of time and makes for a nice bounding activity for you and your child. It’s a great activity for them to do to calm them down and get ready for bed.

Please try it and let me know how it turns out for you. We’d love to hear from you and hear about your experiences. Also get a free ebook on healthy eating and fitness for kids at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com .

Getting More Fruit In Your Diet

Apples are an excellent way to get more fruit in your diet. They can also lead to eating more fruit and vegetables as they make an excellent addition to salads. I discovered this when our family was going through Hurricane Sandy. We cleaned out our downstairs freezer of every single thing. At the time we had a bag of salad greens and apples that we snack on in the refrigerator. So I decided to chop up some apples in with the greens. These were Fuji apples, which I love because they are sweet. My husband and daughter flipped over the new addition. Now my daughter adds apples to her salad frequently with out me having to bug her to eat more fruit and vegetables.

SOME FACTS ABOUT APPLES

  1. The pectin in apples clears cholesterol out of the body.
  2. They lower “LDL” the bad cholesterol and increases “HDL” the good cholesterol.
  3. They contribute to weight loss.
  4. They provide 5 grams of fiber per apple which is 20% of the recommended allowance.

A Brazilian study found that women who ate 3 pears or apples per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting. There is also a “3-A Day” Plan in which you eat an apple before each meal or in between meals this yields a 1/2 pound of fat loss a week. Supposedly this will occur with no other diet or exercise changes. I am sure willing to give that a try!

BUYING TIPS FOR APPLES

  1. Make sure your apples are firm and do not have bruises or punctures on them.
  2. The skin should be shiny, dull appearing apples won’t be crispy or tasty.

STORAGE

Refrigerate apples at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep them on the counter they won’t stay crispy.

OTHER USAGES

You can also eat apples dried, with peanut butter, topped on your cereal either hot or cold, juiced, apple sauce or put in smoothies. I would peel them first before putting them in the blender unless you had something like a really good juicer or VitaMix machine. Children love them chopped into small pieces so send them to school that way.

Please share with me how and if you use apples. I would love to hear from you. Apples are just a suggestion you might want to try pears or oranges. The whole idea is to just start with one fruit and get in the habit of purchasing that and using it in several ways. Also if you have some great recipes please share them with us, especially for kids. Also check out a free ebook on healthy eating for kids at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com . It’s not only for kids you’ll benefit from it too.