I was telling Lucy the other day how my boyfriend and I were watching American Restoration (if you do not know what that show is I highly recommend googling it and watching an episode). Rick, who runs the shop, received an apple vending machine in to restore. It was amazing to hear the history of that machine. Back in the day they had apple vending machines in schools rather than the ones we have today with Skittles, Milky Ways, Corn Chips, Pop Tarts and …...the list can go on and on. With that conversation Lucy and I are going to give you some tips on helping your kids achieve a healthy & active lifestyle.
The first major step in helping your child obtain a healthy & active lifestyle is doing physical activities with your children. Have them put that that video game controller down and shoot some hoops. To get the best result, don’t just send them out by themselves. Go out there with them. Challenge them to a game of one on one, or Horse. Participate in whatever activities you and your child enjoy doing. Another great sport that is free (we all love free), and a great work out, is Disc Golf. This gets you and your child outside. Its a great whole body workout incorporating walking up and down hills and trails, in addition to throwing discs at baskets. It is scored like golf but you throw discs, for some more information on Disc Golf and local courses, go to www.pdga.com. If disc golf, or basketball isn't really your thing, everyone loves a little tag! Anything where you and your child are outside doing something active is one step closer to helping them achieve a healthier life style. Ask you child what their favorite game to play is. Incorporate more body movements into the game to get the greatest benefit. Relay races including moves such as: kangaroo hops, crab walking, lunge walking (tell the kids to take “giant” steps), and even squats are fun for them to break into exercise. Ask the kids what kinds of moves they like. Further, you can also hold a “contest” to see how many of something the kids can do in a set period of time. For example, how many crunches can they do in 10 seconds? When its your turn, have them count for you so its a fun competition. Remember, whatever you do, make it FUN!
Let’s face it, your kids do not do the food shopping. This next step, you as a parent have a large part in. While at the grocery store, let the kids help you pick out healthy snacks for them to bring to school. They can also assist in picking out healthy lunch options. Stock up on healthy snacks for the house. In this way you, and the kids, are less likely to eat calorie-laden, nutrient deficient foods. Keeping a variety of fruits and veggies in the house will help the kids see all the good choices they can make when it comes to food. This also gives the kids a chance to find out what they like. Have them help you look up healthy foods online, or healthy recipes at the library before you head to the store so you have an idea of what you need.
Keep one major fact in mind. You children are constantly looking up to you. You are their hero. This means they are watching your every move. When you are active and healthy, so are they. So its best if you decide as a family to become healthier. When you make the effort to be active and make healthy choices, so will your kids. It will be easier to keep them healthy when they see that you are eating apples, and going for walks. For more information on how to get and stay healthy, and for activity options, call the Wayne County YMCA at (570) 253-2083 or visit us on the web at ymcawayne.com.