Tag Archive | Parenting Active Kids

Budget-Friendly Ways To Be Active With Kids

By Sarah Kaufman, The Manilla Blog

We all want active and healthy kids, but exercise can be expensive. Sports teams cost money, plus after-school carpool schedules sure don’t fit the schedule of working parents. It’s important for kids to stay active and learn the value of exercise — but what if you don’t have that kind of time or money?

I’m here to offer five simple ways that you can get your kids engaged in physical activity for free (or nearly free).

1. Make moving part of your routine.

52: Joe Bike for the Wee Folk

This would be a pretty epic shopping trip! (from grrsh on Flickr)

If you live in a neighborhood that has sidewalks and safe streets, walk or cycle to your neighborhood playdates instead of taking the car. You’ll have to practice what you preach, so why not invite the kids along the next time you walk the dog? It’s good exercise and good bonding time. Make small decisions to be active – like not stressing about that parking spot that’s a little farther away. Your entire family will feel good in the short-term, plus you’ll be role modeling good exercise habits and teaching your kids important habits for long-term health.

2. Make exercise your bonding time.

Sometimes we don’t have time to exercise because we’re too busy taking care of the kids. So just take the kids with you the next time you workout. For example, not long ago, a friend of mine took up jujutsu, a Japanese martial art. He joined a jujutsu gym and started taking his 3-year-old son to class every Saturday. It’s now been their Saturday tradition for more than a year — it’s great exercise and it’s a wonderful way to spend the morning together.

If you’re not the jujutsu type (let’s face it: I’m not!) you can also bond with your kids by taking them on your morning run, playing sports as a family or going for a few rounds of miniature golf instead of the movies as a treat. Continue reading

Exercising to be a Role Model

By Whitney from Rookie Moms

I’m a 39-year old mother of two and I fit into my clothes just fine. True, I don’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow– who sports those same credentials — in my bathing suit, but my weight is healthy and my energy level is decent, I think. Still, I know that exercising is an important habit to embrace, and not only that, it’s my responsibility to model good behavior for my children.

How I envy my husband who took up running two years ago with dedication. He’s made it a ritual and leaves his workout clothes just outside of our bedroom door before he goes to sleep so that he can sneak out in the morning without waking me. Mostly I have slept through this routine he’s developed. Or I stir to the sound of his leaving just enough to slip feelings of guilt into my brain as I enjoy my last thirty minutes of “sleep.” What I’m actually doing is keeping my eyes closed and thinking about how I should squeeze into my sports bra and fire up my Jillian Michaels DVD.

Continue reading

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

A Parent’s Guide to Sports Camp

By Heather from RookieMoms.com

Zamzee gets ready for sports camp

The Olympics have been going full-swing for a week now. And as I’m watching these amazing athletes, I’m just wondering: what’s it like being the parent of an Olympian? How do they coordinate things like carpool and equipment for sports practice – for years and years and years?

I’ve signed my son up for sports camp this year in hopes that he’ll burn off tons of energy each day and come home with that good, tired feeling. If he develops proficiency (or even excellence!) in a sport that becomes a long-term passion for him, well that’s a bonus. This is the second year I’ve enrolled him in this particular program which includes eight sports in a single day (!), and here’s what I’ve learned. Whether you’re sending your child off for a day of soccer, gymnastics, tennis or all three, here are some things to remember:

  1. Water. Every morning, I fill a sports bottle for Holden. He gets frequent water breaks but the line at the water fountain is long– too long, he reports, to adequately hydrate. For the car trip home, I sometimes bring a spray mist bottle if it’s been a very hot day. I can spritz him right in the face.  (Quirky tip: I recently learned that my son prefers drinking from a SQUIRT GUN. Would that work for your kid?) Continue reading

Introduction to Family View

Haven’t tried Family View? Take a tour! Some of you asked for a preview of Family View before you register, so we created a really quick screencast of the experience.

Since we launched Family View in April, we’ve heard from parents that it’s a pretty rad tool. (Well, they didn’t use the word “rad” or “tool” – but we know that’s what they meant.) But don’t take their word for it – see for yourself! It’s super easy to use and it’s free! Start tracking your family’s progress today.