This top 10 post is in honor of the white-water rafting trip I’m currently on with the 8-year-old. I’m trying my best to raise active, healthy kids who like to DO and EXPERIENCE things, and I’m hoping this trip is the first of many I take with my boys.
Eight years ago when I embarked on my journey to lose weight, I vowed I would never let my bad body image or weight stop me from doing anything with my son. Having Ryan was life changing to say the least. I would have never had the guts to do what I am doing right now. For Pete’s sake I’m white-water rafting in Colorado! I’m camping for 4 days. Hiking. Swimming.
Everyone wants to know how I stay motivated. Well, THIS is it! I want to be fit and healthy enough to do these things for as long as possible. I want to be confident enough to experience new things. I never, ever want to miss out on anything because I don’t like the way I look in a bathing suit, ever again.
This is a pretty emotional introduction to post I was hoping would be lighthearted but I can’t help myself. I get really passionate because I feel like everything I set out to do is just now coming to fruition with this trip, and it’s only the beginning.
When I started down this path I was no where near as active as I am today. I didn’t run or lift weights or take step or wake up early for CrossFit. I didn’t even have a gym membership back then! Nope, the commitment I made was to simply move more. It may sound cheesy but everyone has to start somewhere and for me it was to simply get off the couch. Here’s a list of things I did and still do to get moving with my kids.
Note: Most photos link to an archived post.
10. Post-Dinner Walks
We don’t take them nearly as much anymore as our schedules have gotten busier but when the 8-year-old was an infant and toddler I’d strap him in the carrier and walk around my community or hop in the car and head to a local park. It was a nice way to get the whole family moving more.
9. Hit the Farms
Getting the kids out to a farmers market or, better yet, a pick-your-own place is a great way to spend a weekend morning. For a couple years we’d go every Friday night to pick up a share at a local CSA and have to pick our own berries, beans, and tomatoes. Let me tell you, it’s exhausting!
This is a favorite at my house. At least once a day we shut off the TV, BLAST music and just dance around like idiots. Really, we look like complete goofs but man is it fun and you can burn some serious calories picking up and chasing a 2-year-old around the house.
7. Yard Work
Overlooked my many, yard work is another great way to get you and your kids away from the screen and moving. We get the 8-year-old out weeding all the time. The 2-year-old wants to help but usually makes more of a mess, but it’s all good. We are out and about moving and teaching the kids to take pride in their home.
This is a favorite of mine since we have trails fairly close to the house. The kids and I will pack a lunch, hike a local trail and then picnic in the woods. They both love it!
5. Post-Run Jogs
After watching me run for years, the 8-year-old wants to join but he’s just not ready to run a few miles at a time. Instead, I tell him to get ready while I get my run in and then come back and pick him up for a post-run jog around the neighborhood. This way I still get to reach my goals and we can run at his pace without any pressure to go fast or hit a certain distance. Now, if your kids are younger I’d suggest a running stroller to take them along! My 2 year old loves it!
4. Wii Game Night
With all the active video games available, there really is no excuse not to get off the couch. We have “Wii Olympics” all the time where we’ll compete at different games. It becomes a fun way to make game night just a little more active.
3. Create an Obstacle Course
This is one of the 8-year-old’s favorite things to do. He makes them for his brother and loves to arrange the pillows all over the living room pretending the carpet is lava. We’ve yet to do one outside but it’s on our list!
2. Sign Up for a Fun 5k
It may sound like a big commitment but some of these run runs like The Color run or Mini-Mudders are great events to take the family to. Many people walk the events and it’s a great way to introduce your kids to the active culture of running events. Click here to see Ryan run this year’s Color Run.
1. Most Importantly: PLAY!
My friend Carla has coined the term PLAYout and I absolutely love it! So many of us look at exercise as WORK. We “workout” — why? Why are we “working out” when we could be “playing out?” Go to the park, play a game of tag, throw a football. It’s all good! There are plenty of ways to move more you just have remember they are options.
I’ll say it again … 8 years ago I would have never imagined I am where I am today doing the things I can do, but it all started with a goal to move my body more. I wonder where you will end up when make the commitment to do it too. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out? <–bottom of the post gives more of history.