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Parenting on Purpose

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Do you ever wonder how you can fit more exercise into your schedule? You’re so busy making meals, working, organizing activities, and helping with homework, that you may find yourself falling into bed at night exhausted, not having had the kind of work-out you would like.

While all this activity keeps a person busy, it can’t be qualified as fitness. Before the Industrial Revolution, life was physically hard. People didn’t have to go to a gym to work out because their entire lives were filled with exercise.

Even as recently as the mid-20th Century, most American families only had one car. That meant they had to walk to the store, to school or at least to the bus stop. Today, kids are driven five blocks from their homes to the bus stop where they then take the bus to a school might be two miles away or more.

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your car or return to plowing fields by hand in order to get fit. You don’t even have to spend hours in the gym and you don’t have to work your fitness around your kids, losing precious sleep in order to make use of exercise equipment.

Childhood obesity and diabetes rates are rising in this country. It’s clear that many of our kids aren’t getting enough exercise. One of the best things you can do is incorporate your exercise routine into a family activity.

New studies show that you can get good cardio results in as little as 12 minutes. Rather than spending an hour on the exercise bike or walking at a steady pace, a great way to boost your cardio and your endurance is to mix up the intensity.

Instead of sending kids out to play all the time, why not join them in their play environment? Playing games with your kids in the backyard or at the neighborhood park make mixing up intensity easy. Simple games like tag involve stopping and starting, running, pivoting, and use lots of different muscle groups — including those great big smile-on-your-face muscles.

If you’re at the park and your children want to play with their friends, you can take the time to use the equipment there as a mini-gym. Remember that it’s also about having fun, so find something that makes you smile. Maybe it’s the swing or maybe it’s the merry-go-round. It doesn’t matter. Let yourself play and enjoy moving your body.

Try different activities with your kids. If they’re old enough, take turns deciding what game you’ll play that day. By changing up the types of exercises that could be anything from shooting hoops to splashing about in the pool, you’ll find your family fitness is increasing without someone getting bored or experiencing repetitive motion injuries.
Have the attitude that you are never too old or too busy to participate in silly or creative ways to get exercise with your kids.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

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