Thursday, May 10, 2012

Family Fitness

Every time you turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, you are bombarded with stories about the obesity epidemic in the United States. You are also bombarded by advertising from people trying to sell you "convenience foods". Whether they are fast food restaurants or just pre-packaged prepare at home meals, we all know that these are not our healthiest options.

How do you battle the bulge with your family, without spending $100s on a gym membership for the whole family? There are several inexpensive options available. We are going to explore a few here.

1) Jump rope: You can buy a jump rope for each family member. Start out just getting your skills down and then you can work on getting faster and faster. The video above is former U.S. Olympian Buddy Lee showing you his prowess with a jump rope. Jumping rope is no longer just a little girl's game as she sings a cute rhyming song. A jump rope is a versatile and useful training too.

2) Geocaching: Have you ever gone Geocaching? It is a great activity for a family. I downloaded an app onto my IPhone but you can also just use your computer at home if you do not have a smart phone. You put in your location and it will tell you of all the caches near you. You then set out on a hike to the area it tells you to go to. The caches will be hidden so it will take some searching to find. Once you find the cache, there is usually a small gift inside with a notebook and pencil to sign in. Always remember when you are caching, if you take something, leave something. If you take the small gift, be sure to leave one in its place for the next person. Once you find the cache, you also put it back exactly where you found it. Now, be sure and log back onto the website to claim the find. Once you get started, it can be addictive! There are caches hidden all around the world, so wherever you are, there is a cache near you.

3) Pool Noodles: They are no longer just a fun pool toy! You can use them for a variety of activities. The picture above is from Parents Magazine and shows an obstacle course that was set up with pool noodles that had the ends taped together to form rings. There are tons of games you can play with pool noodles. In addition to the obstacle course, set up hopscotch with the rings; just toss a ring back and forth; toss bean bags into rings, the list goes on and on. The best news? You can purchase the pool noodles at the Dollar Stores!

Get outside and get active with your family! Good health is an amazing gift for your kids.

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