- With so many distractions, try a little family friendly competition!
We understand how distracting technology can be. At home, it’s all we have to keep us occupied; Netflix, Playstation, iPhones, tablets, and more! With the entire family at home it may feel like you are barely communicating with each other at all.
Well, who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? And it’s even better when there’s a prize at the end! To start; create a spreadsheet to track everyone’s physical activity. Next figure out how the point values for each physical activity each member does. For example, we mark off one box for every five minutes of cardiovascular exercise such as dancing, walking on the treadmill, or using the stationary bike in the basement — anything that gets the heart rate up. For less strenuous activities such as cleaning windows or doing sit ups, we mark off one box for every 10
minutes of active play. Whoever has the most boxes checked off wins at the end of the quarantine!
Prizes can range from a $15 Starbucks gift card to straight cash. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will keep your family motivated the entire time to stick with the competition.
- Need a power-up so the family isn’t sitting on the couch all day?
Don’t let that afternoon “lull” plague your home! Introduce “power-ups”. When I see my kids dragging, I say, “Looks like you need to power up.” They then go to our posted list of power-up suggestions and select one or two healthy energy boosters. Power-ups come in three categories
- Power workouts
Sitting still for too long can make us feel sluggish, so taking a few minutes to run or jump gets our blood flowing again. The list of power workouts includes:
- Do 10 jumping jacks.
- Do suicides up and down the hallway 3 times
- Do 10 sit-ups.
- Lift the flour container 10 times.
- Power snacks
For energy slumps between meals, eating a healthy snack can boost your energy back to a working level.
The power snack list includes:
- Ten blueberries or strawberries
- Carrot sticks
- A small bowl of yogurt
- A handful of almonds
- Power naps
Sometimes people are tired because they are . . . tired. Power naps are downtime suggestions kids and people who don’t welcome traditional naps:
- Lie down for 10 minutes, close your eyes and listen to soft music.
- Read for 15 minutes.
- Make a nest on the floor and listen to your favorite show or movie
- Mission Impossible: Getting kids to eat their veggies
With the temptation of sugary and overly salty food around every corner, one way to encourage kids to eat healthier is by explaining how nutritious foods benefit their bodies. For example, when serving carrots say,” Eating carrots helps you to see better.” or “Eat your oatmeal so you have energy to run even faster.” Little kids especially are motivated when they know something will help them move quicker. If your kids don’t finish their milk, it helps to remind them that, “Milk helps build strong teeth and bones.” Kids LOVE knowing they are eating to become faster, stronger, and better at the activities they enjoy doing.
- MAKE Time to Play
Try setting aside 30-45 minutes at least two times a day to do fun exercises with the family. Make it a part of your before-lunch and after-dinner routine. If your kids are young they might like hide-and-go-seek, or hopscotch in the backyard. If your kids are older try doing a wall-sit competition (whoever can hold it the longest wins) or a push-up contest.
*BONUS* If you have any fitness games like Wii Sports or fitness, Just Dance, or Zumba try creating a bracket style tournament. Our favorite game to use is Wii Bowling!
- Make it FUN!
Keep the focus on the fun and exercising won’t be a chore. Kids love activities that don’t seem like they’re working out because they are having so much fun while doing them! They ignore how tired they are becoming since they don’t want to stop, which is GREAT for mom and dad at the end of the night! Some things you can do while indoors are;
- Obstacle course: Create a furniture course in your home or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.
- Wheelbarrow, crab, and bear-walk races: Holding one of these tough positions gives you a real workout.
- Follow the leader: Add to the workout with energetic movements such as jumping, stomping, and squatting.
- Freeze dance: When the music stops, freeze in your pose and hold it until the music begins again.
- Scavenger hunt: Write up clues and hide them around the apartment. Kids can race to find each clue for a small prize at the end.
Parachute: This kiddie gym standby can be re-created at home with sheets. Each kid takes an end of the parachute or sheet and fans it upward while one of you runs underneath.