By: Rachel F. Taylor, current parent and alumni family // MDS Musings Blog
As a single parent of three boys under thirteen, I realize I have been training all my life for the incredible opportunity of being a parent! Children are a gift from God. Being a parent is perhaps one of the greatest challenges. Ever.
We all love tech and gadgets; however, technology encroaches on our daily physical routines. Remember, children need at least one hour of physical activity a day. Physical activity can be defined as “any activity that uses muscles and requires more energy than resting.” Finding time, space, and energy to keep our bodies and our kids’ bodies moving becomes a challenge for every parent.
Here are Five Suggestions for Families to stay active and healthy:
- Know your ABC’s.
Get the family together and using the Alphabet come up with a “Letter of the Day” activity. For example: A is for Abs. Do five sets of 10 sit-ups. Take turns–one person hold feet in place and count. B is for Bicycling. Find a family-friendly local path (Amerson Park) and grab your favorite two-wheeled sensation. C is for Camping. Grab your tents and practice set-up in your back-yard, or pick your favorite state park (Dames Ferry, Indian Springs). You get the idea. Everyone gets involved and moving!
- Keep it fun.
Yes, even chores count here! It’s also personal. Each child gets their very own laundry basket. Set-up each child’s personal laundry basket in the living room and have every kid match five pairs of socks. The kid with the most socks to make it inside the basket…wins!
- Create a Carrot.
Figure out what thing (reward) gets your child moving. Sometimes this can sound like a bribe. If you swim ten laps, we can get a treat after (ice-cream)! Yay!
- Always keep a pair of good shoes on hand.
Whatever the physical activity, it’s important to wear correct foot-wear. Running barefoot on the beach is fun, but crossing a rocky creek-bed may require water-shoes.
- Get a Jump-Rope.
Hands down, two minutes of jumping rope is one the best forms of physical activity. Start a weekly record board. “How many times can you jump in two minutes?” This activity is very portable. You can jump-rope just about anywhere.
I hope this helps you to keep your kids moving! Parents, you are doing a great job!
Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, which is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.