Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Healthy Family

Kid's Activity Pyramid

There are many things we can do to keep our family healthy. One of the easiest things to do is to just go outside and play. You can play games of tag, hide and seek, kickball, throw a ball, red light/green light or Simon Says. Regardless of the age of your children, you can play a game out side with them.

The youngest kids will understand Simon Says and red light/green light, the older kids will enjoy badminton volleyball, basketball or just tossing a ball around. It does not take a lot of forethought to do these activities and not only will it improve your health and the health of your child but it will also improve the relationship you have with your kids. If you do not already have some of the games that requires equipment, now is the time to purchase it. Stores are marking everything down to super clearance in preparation for fall and winter so summer items have to go. There is still plenty of time for you to use these activities outside though.

Another great thing you can do is a 5K walk or run with the whole family. Pick a local charity and participate in their event. Not only do you get to exercise but you can teach your child about philanthropy by collecting donations. Here in Lexington we can refer to a local shoe store's race calendar, John's Race Calendar. If you look at this calendar you will see that there is at least one race every weekend that is within a short distance of our town. I bet your town is the same way.

If you do not want to do a 5K, you could always put together a race for your family and a group of friends. It would be easy to go to a local track and perform your race. Before arriving, pick a few events or distances. You could have the Dads compete, the Moms compete and the kids compete. The winners of each event would receive a small award like a trophy or a medal. Be sure you have plenty of water and sports drinks on hand along with some oranges, apples and bananas to keep everyone healthy. If you do not have access to a local track, do an obstacle course at the local playground.

If you want it to be a longer lasting activity, buy pedometers for the whole family then pick a destination. From Lexington, maybe I would pick Kings Island in Ohio. When I go to Mapquest I see that it is about 115 miles. When I looked around online I discovered that 2,000 steps is about equal to 1 mile so we would have to walk 230,000 steps to get to King's Island. You could do a graph for each family member that you log the steps to every night. You can compete to see who gets to Kings Island first. It does not have to end with you actually going to the amusement park but it would be fun to then go to the place you are "walking" to.

There are lots of great ways to keep healthy and to teach your children how important it is to use their body every day. Maybe just playing in the backyard with Mom and Dad will teach the kids to love their bodies and to take great care of their bodies.

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