Tag Archive | moving as a family

10 Lessons on How to Stay Active as a Family

If your New Year’s resolution is to get your family active, take a step back before you attempt to go 100 mph forward and read the 10 most important things we learned in 2012 about moving as a family.

1.  Physical activity is more important than weight loss. Being active improves both your physical and mental health, and how your body feels is more important than how your body looks. Especially when you’re a kid.

2.  Finishing first is not the most important part of running a race. So when your video-game-loving kindergartner wants to run a one-mile race, make sure you believe in him. He’s going to finish.

kids_1_mile_race

3.  Moving doesn’t have to be serious. You can get a healthy dose of exercise while having fun playing games like ant hospital and toilet tag. Yep, those are real games. Seriously. Continue reading

Learning to Exercise for Fun: My Kids Before and After Zamzee

By Ann Greenberg

The Greenberg Girls

The Greenberg Girls

About a year ago I signed my daughters up for a 5k race and found out about a local company called Zamzee. Having spent the better part of the last 12+ years trying to keep my three darling daughters healthy and physically fit, I was intrigued by Zamzee’s claim to engage kids in a more active lifestyle. Days later, we had ourselves 3 shiny, pink meters. Unsure of what to do, I put the girls (then aged 7, 10 and 12) to work exploring the Zamzee.com website and signing up their meters. Almost instantaneously, the way my kids viewed physical activity changed…for the better.

Let me backtrack and age myself a bit first by saying I grew up in the era of riding bikes to school (helmet-free of course), playing at the local park with friends until dusk, swimming in the neighbors pool and heading home, on my own, before the street lamps went on. I didn’t play on 3 different teams year round, I didn’t watch what I ate, and I was a healthy size with little or no effort.

When I started a family of my own, I never expected to struggle to find the time and energy to keep my family healthy, fit and active. Kids today exercise in a structured and organized form. There is no walking to school for my children. Even riding bikes is an effort that usually requires loading 3+ bikes into a too small car and driving someplace remote and safe to do so. In my attempts to keep my kids active, I pull my hair out with complicated daily carpools to and from a half dozen different athletic fields, and I find myself spending hours in my car.

So when these shiny little Zamzee meters entered our world, I had no idea what I was in for.

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How Adyson Became My Exercise Buddy

Rebecca, Abigail and Adyson with their Zamzees

Dear Zed and Team,

America’s obesity crisis is a problem that’s very personal for my family and me.

Our oldest daughter is overweight for her age. Our middle child, Adyson, is overweight as well. Adyson is 9 years old and weighs 102 pounds now, but she was 106. Our youngest daughter, who is 8, is on the opposite side of this. She can’t gain weight. As for us, I am considered to be obese. But my husband is an Army Ranger, so he stays overly active.

Last spring our pediatrician suggested that my oldest daughter attend Camp Strong4Life. At Strong4Life, kids learn about exercise, proper meal portions, and how to have fun while being active. Before the kids go, the families attend a weekend retreat to learn how they can positively support their children’s health. On the last night of the retreat, the camp director asked Adyson if she also wanted to join the summer camp. So the following Monday we were off to see our doctor, to get a physical and make sure Adyson qualified (you need a BMI of a certain level to attend). Of course, we qualified.

When the two older girls came back from camp, I was ready for us all to start a new healthy lifestyle. I had noticed that over 85-90% of the camp parents were overweight! I was so ashamed of myself. How could I be a positive role model for my girls and ask them to eat healthier and get moving if I wasn’t myself? So I made that change with them. We cleaned out the cupboards, limited what sweet treats were in the house, and replaced junk food with healthier snacks. We stayed active all summer, swimming, geocaching, and walking the Georgia trails. The girls weren’t too happy about it, but they went along with us. We didn’t give them much choice! 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

6 Tips for Camping with the Kids

Summer is a great time to take the kids camping – but it takes special planning to make sure the little ones learn to love being outside. After all, sleeping under the stars is a big change from the safety and security of home. Here are 6 tips to ensure your camping trip is a success.

Camping in the Savage River drainage, Denali National Park, Alaska

Flickr Creative Commons license (http://ow.ly/cb1dp)

1. Get to your campsite early

Make sure you have plenty of time to set-up your tent during daylight so the kids can get comfortable in the campground. If they feel familiar with their surroundings during the day, those shadows will look less scary at night. Build a warm, comfortable fire and give everyone their own flashlight. Bringing favorite stuffed animals and security blankets can do wonders to help with fear of the dark, which is well-worth the chore of washing off the dirt when you get back home.

In the tent

Flickr Creative Commons license (http://ow.ly/cb1Vh)

2. Pack for cold and sun

Temperatures have a habit of shifting unexpectedly when you’re camping, and kids get hot and cold more quickly than adults. Make sure you pack plenty of layers. A fleece pullover (not a sweatshirt) and a warm hat are essentials for night, and you can never bring too many pairs of warm socks. During the day don’t forget sunglasses and baseball hats to keep the sun off their faces. Of course, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe vera, anti-itch cream and a first-aid kit are essentials. If you anticipate the sunburn and mosquito bites, you won’t be caught unprepared by itchy skin after 5 PM!

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