Especially during summer vacation, we have to keep our toddlers busy, hydrated and burning energy. I for one run out of exercise ideas faster than I get boring with making school lunches! We asked you to send us toddler energy buster ideas and tips.. here they are!
After turning 40, I knew that it was going to be time to start getting serious about working out. Being a naturally thin person for most of my adult life, I was really able to keep my weight down, and a pretty decent amount of muscle tone, even though I wasn’t working out very regularly. I’ve never cared for getting sweaty, and 18would rather spend my time window-shopping or writing or crafting. But after hitting the 4 decade milestone, I noticed that my pants started getting a little tighter, that muffin-top got more pronounced, and generally I just didn’t feel as tight anymore.
It’s hard to stay fit as a family in winter months. Between the hectic holiday madness, the shorter days and holiday treats, regular exercise gets put on the backburner. Throw in cold weather, snow and a desire to drink wine under a blanket on the couch, it’s pretty easy to justify not moving for most of the winter.
What a winter we have had! But the cold should not keep Canadian families indoors. Bundle up, get outside and get physically active every day with one of our 10 outdoor winter activities for kids. Why? Because active play is essential to every child’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social development—even in winter. Unfortunately, one study shows Canadian kids spend only three hours per week playing actively in the winter, compared to four and a half hours in summer. (via www.participACTION.com). A part of this lack of play during the winter months is due to the four main barriers to play; safety concerns, too much screen time, unruly weather and not enough hours in the day.
According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, but only five per cent of children in Canada are meeting the guideline. We’ve racked our brains for outside winter play ideas and think you’ll be excited by the results:
1. Use the time after school or after activities when lots of kids are around to structure playtime. 30 minutes of tag, soccer or snow play can impact kids’ fitness levels significantly.
2. In a cold climate? Pack a hot chocolate picnic and find a frozen lake or snow-covered toboggan hill. Reward the kids afterwards with jammies and a movie under the covers. (It’s also budget-friendly!)
3. Encourage your kids to have a race around the block and make ‘Olympic’ medals for participants.
4. Scour yard sales and second hand stores throughout the year and pick up snowshoes or cross-country skis. These activities are fun for the family and help everyone (ahem) break a sweat.
5. Use different months of the winter to structure activities to raise money – October is breast cancer month, January is Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month and February is diabetes. You can find a full list of months and their meanings here – we’re willing to bet you can structure a tae kwon do or skipping fundraiser for a great cause!
6. Shut off screens and let the kids get bored. It’s amazing how this stimulates imagination.
7. Darkness and safety concerns can be a barrier. Why not organize a ‘party’ outside on a Friday evening with lots of kids, parents to supervise and flashlights to illuminate! Dodgeball, Capture the Flag, What Time is it Mr. Wolf and relay races can be great bonding exercises for both big and little players.
8. The Girl Guides are a great group, and we can’t say it any better than they have! Here is a comprehensive list of winter games that also help teach a few lessons.
9. Geocaching is an incredible adventure that incorporates travel and orienteering. It’s a great travel-focused activity for kids that can be found worldwide.
10. Often winter brings not only deep freezing but deep discounts. Bundle up and take advantage of inexpensive canoe rentals and less expensive winter camping sites (if safety and lakes permit). Just be sure to protect yourself from frostbite and weather. And don’t forget the hot chocolate!
More ideas? Let us know, and have fun outside!
Q. Is running a good exercise to maintain my fitness during my pregnancy?
Many a newly pregnant woman has several panic attacks when she realizes that pregnancy means changing some habits. What is safe during pregnancy? Can I dye my hair? Eat Sushi? What about nail polish fumes and second hand smoke? And the stress that all of these questions are causing. UrbanMommies has pulled together articles and advice from our medical experts to help you navigate the beautiful months while pregnant. Breathe, relax, and remember that moderation and instinct should always remain in the equation. As with anything, your doctor or midwife should be consulted if you are concerned about any issues you are having.
Exercise of the Week: Row, Row, Row the boat.
Fitness on the Go also offers sessions to train with a friend. So I invited my friend, neighbor and fellow Top 10 finalist Sarah to participate in a workout so we could learn some useful partner exercises. Sarah is a wonderful mother that is trying, like all of us, to get back in shape after having 3 kids.
Exercise of the week: Plank
Trying to squeeze back in your pre pregnancy jeans can be a struggle for some. I have found the Plank exercise to be very helpful in getting me back into those Jeans this week!
The plank position will also do wonders for your core muscles which in turn will help protect your back from injuries when hauling your groceries into the house.
What are some fun and simple ways to get excerise outdoors this Spring with my baby?
Q. Although I know it is good for me, I’ve had many people tell me that I should avoid exercising while I’m pregnant because of the potential risks. Is there any merit to this?