This exercise tip is not for getting kids to exercise... It is for YOU to get some exercise with your children.
To start with, if you are considering some changes in your life to improve your health, I applaud you. There's a saying out there that the first step(with many things) is accepting or acknowledging. SO many people today completely ignore the problems in their life. One of the reasons is that, change is hard. Most people don't want to change anything. If it takes too much energy, why bother. That's a typical attitude. But if you're at a place in your life where you are realizing that you need to make some changes, you're in a much better place now. This is a very good thing for you.
Now the downside is, many people just do not know where to go or how to begin. Many people promise themselves "tomorrow". How many people have you met have bought exercise equipment only to have it end up collecting dust?
If you feel you REALLY need to make some changes, then you probably do and you should. Getting yourself TOO out of shape is sort of like someone that smokes. The more you smoke, the more at risk you are. The more out of shape you are and the less you take care of yourself, the more at risk you are for all sorts of issues. Before I go any further, I'm speaking as someone who is FAR from perfect and can use this advice myself.
So, you want to make some changes? It's not as difficult as you think. To start with, it is ALWAYS easier to do something like this with someone's help. Someone to help keep you accountable or just someone to keep you company. Exercise is just better when someone else is there. This is especially true if you've tried exercising before and have given up. You NEED someone to help you. Find a friend that will join you.
How else can you make this more interesting? Choose something you enjoy. Some people enjoy hiking. Find a place you like and just get out there. The town we live in has some nice hiking/biking trails. For me, all I have to do is walk up and down my driveway if I want a workout. Our driveway is very steep.
There are TONS of other fun things you can do to get some exercise. Swimming, biking, jogging, jumping rope, hula hopping, volleyball, etc etc etc... Just pick one, or some, and get out there and do it.
Now after all that, I'll get to what I started this about. Exercising with kids.
I have two things in mind here and they're both very simple and they're both effective...
1. Play with your kids. Seriously, join them in doing something they find fun. We don't go to the park too often because it's way on the other side of town but, when we do go, I play on the slides and stuff as much as they do. One playground is like, well it's like climbing a 2 to 3 story building. The stairs to the top slide are fairly high. Sometimes we run up it... and it sure is fun going down. The swings, whether pushing a child or riding them... it's all good exercise and it's all fun. Not only could you find yourself really enjoying it, your kids will LOVE having you run around with them.
As an added benefit... most adults look at kids and wonder where on earth they get their energy. Well, as much as it might not sound right... the more you do, the more energy you'll have. It is difficult to get started with exercise, if you haven't done it in a LONG time, but, you need to push yourself at first and after a while you will totally feel a difference in your energy level.
2. Here's the one I originally intended to get to. Exercise with your kids. That is, if you have young children, actually using your kids as exercise equipment. That probably sounds strange but, I'll explain.
Obviously kids are already weights, and quite often dead weight. When carrying them, they don't always hold on well and help support themselves. You can get tired just carrying your child around. I met a lady once that REFUSED to pick up my child(who was probably less than 5) just because she didn't, because kids were heavy or something. She didn't claim to have a bad back or anything like that... she just didn't pick up kids, any kids. Just picking them up and moving them from place to place, in and out of shopping carts for instance, can give you a little exercise.
But, years ago I figured out a way to exercise my belly a bit and my kids have always loved it. Originally I called them kid crunches...
Basically, I lay on my back and bend my knees as if I'm about to do some situps... (situps are BORING and just not fun)
Then I lift my feet off the ground and let a child climb on my legs. Well, with younger kids I put them there. This exercise will work with kids of any size(any size you can handle, from baby on up) and even with no kids at all. So, the child is placed basically over the shin bones, across both legs... butt more or less near your feet. Then, hold the child's hands.
Next, bring your knees up towards your chest/face... and back... back and forth. The child gets a nice rocking and all of my kids(4 of them) have LOVED doing that, especially when they're younger. Our youngest is 3 and she LOVES doing that. It will work out your mid section fairly well after a little bit. Similar to doing situps but it's more fun. Just watching your child's face is fun.
If I want to make it a little more difficult, I bring my knees up towards my chest and then instead of just rocking down to a normal resting position, I extend my legs out straight and go back and forth that way. You get a little exercise for your legs and a lot for your belly.
I have used my children to do bench presses. They get a kick out of that. I have also had them sit on my feet, while I'm on my back, and I hold their hands, and I push up and down sort of like doing leg presses.
Oh, sometimes I'll hold a child and jump as high as I can. They usually find this fairly fun and it gives your legs a good workout.
Anyway... I'm not really suggesting you start using your child as a piece of exercise equipment... I wouldn't want you to think of them as an inanimate object... Instead, I'm encouraging you to use them as a motivation to get in shape. Whether it be doing the silly exercises I mentioned or just getting out and participating in the craziness that is childhood. Your kids will get a kick out of you joining in on the fun and you will feel the benefits yourself. So go jump a rope or climb a tree... play some basketball, or tag... Use your imagination. Whatever it takes.
Exercising with your kids will benefit you AND them.
I hope this all made sense. Your health is important and I hope you'll take advantage of any way possible to take care of yourself. Now to apply this to my own life a little better....
From paintball to frisbee golf, feel free to share your outdoor sports with us...
(and maybe a little exercise)
(and maybe a little exercise)
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