Does anyone else feel like our children are eating more junk food, playing computer and video games too much, and spending less time outdoors?
Winter’s chill only makes matters worse. Even in sunny Las Vegas, this winter has been long and cold.
But it’s not just the weather that makes my kids want to stay indoors. They also have a lot of homework, dance practice, music lessons and many other activities to add to their busy school schedule.
With all these activities, I figured my children had just one day a week to plan play dates. So I decided to sit down with my girls and make sure that we spent that one day outside and enjoying the great outdoors.
The first thing we decided to do is start a health club for our family and friends. I saw this idea on The Biggest Loser. This year, along with their usual contestants, they have been helping three children get fit and lose weight. They challenged the kids to get out of their shell and exercise as a group. Bingo, one of the child contestants, decided he was going to start a health club after school and play sports. I thought it was such a great idea. So my girls decided to start their own club and name it “The Healthy Banana Club.”
I Love It!!!
Then we decided to invite some friends to meet at our neighborhood park and set up an obstacle course for a relay race. You can really use anything you want for your own course. We used cones, soccer balls, jump ropes and bouncy balls. All of these items were just hanging out in our back yard and in our garage.
Obstacle Course Relay
Then we split the teams in half. Boys against girls of course.
First, they kicked the soccer ball through the cones.
Second, they had to jump rope ten times.
Then they had to bounce back to the next team member and high five them before the next person could go. It was so easy and fun and the kids loved it when the moms got involved.
The next week we asked my friend Kim to have her family meet us at the park and to teach us some kid yoga.
Wow! I could not believe how much the kids got into it. There was a playground about 10 feet away from us, but they were more interested in holding their poses then going down the slide (although we let them play after the yoga session).
When practicing yoga, children under six can hold exercise poses for up to one minute and children six and above can hold a pose for 1 1/2 minutes.
Always have an adult demonstrate the posture first so the children can do it correctly.
Back Roll Pose
Great for the back and spine.
Tree pose is great for balance and concentration.
This pose is calming for the mind and relaxes your entire body. It also helps to alleviate stress. This is great to do before they start their homework
This is excellent for building back, arms and shoulder strength.
This is one of the most important poses in yoga. It stretches the shoulders, arms, chest and abdominal muscles.
This pose is great for building core strength.
There are so many benefits for children to start yoga at a young age.
1. Yoga builds self esteem.
2. It helps them to keep calm.
3. It helps them deal with stress easier as they get older.
4. It’s great for their flexibility, balance and strength.
5. Don’t forget to keep it fun so the kids will want to do it more often.
6. Yoga is a great indoor or outdoor activity.
When my kids get home from school, I always try to have a healthy snack in the kitchen waiting for them. My kids love hummus. It is so healthy and it’s great with cucumbers and carrots (the Greek and green olives are for the mommies).
Teaching kids to be fit is more important than ever. According to Web MD the average child spends approximately four hours each day watching television. The American Heart Association reports that about one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Read more at LiveStrong.
Making outdoor exercise a priority for my young daughters will prepare them for a happy and healthy life.
I am hoping my daughters learn to make exercise a priority in their lives. Hopefully The Healthy Banana Club is just the beginning.
What fun play dates have you planned lately to keep your little ones physically fit?
Ashley was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and now lives in Henderson, Nevada. She studied in Germany and created a hand knit hat business in 1998–Mutze by Ashley (meaning hat in German). She is obsessed with her Husband, three daughters, fashion, coconut desserts, and garden gnomes.