Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Make it Fun

My oldest daughter is reluctant to participate unless she is swimming. She will tolerate hikes at one of the various nature centers, though. The younger three, ages 9. 9, and 7 (almost 8 she reminds me) enjoy morning kugs and bicycling. Before we get into the what to do's let's take a quick look at some of the why's first.

As adults, it is generally held that we need at least 30 minutes of getting up off our duffs to improve our health. Which fits with the guidelines that my lifting coach gave me a lifetime ago. That is, 20 minutes to start burning body fat. 20 minutes to get the engine burning that fuel. At that time I made my minimum cardio time 30 minutes. Then, I read this was a good thing. This was what doctors were recommending more than 20 years ago. But, what about kids? Do they need that much time, too?

Fitness Magazine published an article that states children need only 15 minutes of good, hard, body moving events to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes. Apparently, slim kids are moving 12 minutes more each day than their overweight classmates. 12 to 15 minutes a day for kids to improve their health.

Teens, I feel, can benefit from the 15 minutes daily; however, as one of mine is a teen I still try to get her to move for 30 minutes of easy walking.

What are some of the fun things we can do to get our kids moving? I am a big kid. I look for lots things that ARE fun. I enjoy squat thrusts, bodybuilders, push-ups, pull-ups, and so on. One of my 9 year olds had me give him a version of the Army physical fitness test. What the three younger ones enjoy is going to the track with me every morning.

Each morning of the work week I get out to the track with these three little troopers. I jog with my dog while my trainees jog or ride their bicycles. 30 minutes each morning and then they go off to school. It's too easy.

But, I know that most kids do not like this sort of thing.Teach them some of our old gym games. Red Rover, Red Light Green Light, play tag with them. On a Saturday morning take them to the zoo. That will clock up some quick miles and fun time. If it is raining or too cold out, go to a museum. Snowing? Get them to help shovel with you.

These ideas do not have to run all day, just 30 minutes. The limit is your own creativity. Do it with your children and you will find better health and better family ties. At least I have found this.Come on, Moms and Dads, get your bicycles out of the garage and get out their with your kids. They won't do it without you.

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