Tag Archive | Fun Ideas to Get Moving

Walking: In Search of Inspiration (and Free Books)

By: Emily Schnipper, Zamzee Operations + Customer Support 

In November’s newsletter, I wrote about some of the ways I’ve made my “Walks to Nowhere” more interesting.  Like a lot of suburban people, I don’t have much to walk to, but no way am I going to miss out on the benefits of walking.  As I’ve found, walking can increase your appreciation of the world around you and even boost your creativity.  (Not to mention passing many Zamzee Challengez.)

Walking with a camera is my favorite.  I’ve given myself a mission to capture the strange and beautiful things lurking in a town that I always thought was boring.  Through walking and photographing, my perspective has shifted.  I didn’t even realize until I started writing this, but I can’t honestly say that my town is boring anymore.  (Maybe I’ve also learned that boredom isn’t always such a bad thing, but that’s another story.)  My favorite discovery, without a doubt, has been the phenomenon of Little Free Libraries.  All my friends and family know my obsession with these cute, tiny houses filled with free books for kids and adults.  Check out the map on their website here.  There may be a LFL in walking distance from you.

Photo Credit: Emily Schnipper

Photo Credit: Emily Schnipper

I’ve also found that walking is one of the best ways to get ideas or break through a creative block.  If you’re struggling with homework or work-work, go on a walk if you can.  Your renewed focus will be worth the time it takes.  Something about the rhythm of walking makes it especially good for coming up with songs or poems.  Walking is something you can do in your own time, at your own pace.  When life is filled with obligations, that opportunity can be hard to find.  In an article for the The New York Times, Kate Murphy writes about people who’ve decided to walk across the US.  She calls this epic walk a spiritual quest and a way to search for meaning in life.  As people over the centuries have found, walking can speak to some deep part of ourselves that goes beyond the benefits of exercise.

EmilyTree

Even if you’re taking a short home/work break, you can tap into that tradition of walking as a way to find inspiration  A recent study at Stanford showed that while walking didn’t help people find one right answer, it did help them brainstorm more creative ideas.  Other studies have found that walking can reduce stress and anxiety, insomnia and depression.  It can improve memory (vocabulary words, anyone?), self-esteem, and energy levels. Unlike many other physical activities (weight-lifting, surfing, toe-wrestling), you probably already know how to walk safely, and have all the equipment you need.  So the next time you’re struggling with a problem in your life, see if walking might give you a bit of clarity.  I’ll see you on the sidewalks!

The Top 10 Zamzee Blog Posts of 2013

On the Zamzee blog, we document the scientific research behind Zamzee, our efforts to fulfill our mission of improving kids’ health, and fun stories and ideas about families getting active. Looking back at the most popular posts of 2013, it’s clear that Zamzee Blog readers are interested in the full spectrum of physical activity. But what’s the most popular? Here are the 10 most-read blog posts of 2013:

1.) 5 Playground Games from Around the World

Topping the charts of 2013 was a fun blog post about playground games from around the world. Look no further if you are looking for inspiration on how to spice up your kids’ backyard play: these games will have you moving, laughing, and earning mega-Pointz on your Zamzee meters!

2.) What’s the Difference Between a Pedometer, an Accelerometer and a Zamzee?

The second most popular blog post of 2013 was a short and sweet piece explaining the difference between pedometers, accelerometers and a Zamzee. If you’re new to Zamzee and activity trackers in general, this post is a great starting point for understanding more about your options for tracking your physical activity.

3.) Using Technology to Modernize Physical Education (P.E.)

A personal favorite of the Zamzee staff, this guest blog post by Cindy Sisson Hensley takes a look ahead at how technology can transform physical education to make school P.E. more engaging for today’s kids. Continue reading

The Shushan Shake

As many of you know, the middle school students at Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta use Zamzee to track their physical activity. A few months ago the Atlanta Hawks visited GHA students. This month, the GHA students are doing their own version of the Harlem Shake!

All we have to say is this: You guys rock!

5 Playground Games from Around the World

We’re always looking for fun ways to get outside and earn a couple more Zamzee Pointz. But sometimes that old game of tag or duck-duck-goose needs a little extra spice in order to convince us to get moving. That’s why we’ve collected a list of great playground games from around the world. You don’t even need a ball to play these games; all you need is your imagination, some friends (the more the merrier!), and space to run around! Here’s how to join in the fun:

Pasi Misí (Spain)

Two players stand opposite each other and raise their hands to form an arch. The other players form a line, and follow one another as they run underneath the arch singing:

“Pasi misí, pasi misá,
por la calle de Alcalá,
los de “adelante” corren mucho
el de atrás se quedará.”
“Pasi misí, pasi misá,
by the Alcalá street
the first ones run quickly
the last one will stay.”

After the last verse, the players who have formed the arch drop their hands to trap the player who is underneath the arch at that moment. Then, the trapped player has to secretly choose between two fruits, each of which corresponds to one side (player) of the arch. After secretly whispering her choice, the trapped player is released and lines up behind the team leader for her chosen fruit. (None of the other players are able to hear which type of fruit corresponds to which line.)

Once all the players have been “caught” under the arch and chosen a line, the two teams do a tug-of-war. The winning team is the one who successfully pulls the other team past a line in the ground.

In this video you can learn the tune to the song, and watch how to play!

Continue reading

Getting Your Kids Active: How My Son Became a Football Fanatic

By Whitney from RookieMoms.com

Today my son Julian is a football fanatic, memorizing player statistics, playing catch with his dad in the backyard, and dreaming of becoming the fastest sprinter in his school. But it wasn’t always this way. Last year Julian didn’t like sports, let alone want to play them himself, or care about catching such things as the touchdown pass. Last summer Heather’s son Holden went to sports camp, and I told Julian that there are camps where you do eight sports each day, knowing pretty well he’d hate that idea. He looked at me with amazement and disgust.

At that time, he spent his recesses sitting on the bench with his female best friend discussing the detailed characteristics of their Webkinz, a set of plush animals with online lives. They enjoyed this fun virtual world they were imagining together, and I had no problem with it. He attended science camp all summer and avoided kick ball games by hanging out with the counselors, making friendship bracelets.

I’m not really a sports person myself, but I worried that he was missing out on important social skills like the ability to join group games or play catch. I didn’t have to worry for long. Last fall, everything changed. Continue reading

4 “How To Dance” Tutorials: Fun ideas to get moving indoors

There are some days we’d rather stay inside, but hanging out at home doesn’t mean you have to stop moving. An afternoon indoors is the perfect opportunity to learn some sweet dance moves – and break out a sweat while you’re at it. Pull up YouTube, start a challenge (try the Paparazzi Dash or Breakdance Battle), and get your groove on.

Here are a few of our favorite “how to dance” videos.

1. How to do the dance steps to “What Makes you Beautiful” by One Direction

One Direction is taking the world by storm. If you can score tickets to a 1D show, you’ll need to come prepared with the right dance moves.

Have ‘em perfect and ready to dance backup on stage? Try keeping up with the boys themselves.

2. How to do the dance steps to the “Hoedown Throwdown” from Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus)

We all know coordinating the perfect line dance ain’t easy. These girls shows us how it’s done in a super simple, step-by-step tutorial. Continue reading

History of Zed

Zed whooshing and whirring

Zamzee’s mascot is Zed, and we affectionately call him our Chief Movement Officer (or CMO for short). Zed sends you all your Shoutz and notifications on MyZamzee. But sometimes kids want to know – who is this little ball of energy, and what is he really about?

Kids have submitted all sorts of questions about Zed to our help desk. Here are some of our favorites, and Zed’s answers.

Q: Where does Zed live?

A: Zed lives in the clouds, where he can make the most of his passion for whooshing and whirring. But every now and then he zips down and pays the Zamzee team a visit at our office in Redwood City, California.

Q: Does Zed play any sports or something?

A: Zed has lots of hobbies! He loves skateboarding, playing soccer, and dashing around town. He also likes to discover cool new music and tell his friends about it.

Q: Does Zed do anything normally?

A: Where Zed comes from, being a little ball of energy IS normal. So is swinging through the trees in search of a carrot. Continue reading