Ever find that your health sometimes takes a back seat to your family’s health? You sit in the stands at your kids baseball game and notice through the weeks that you’re slowly gaining weight? It’s normal to prioritize and put loved ones before yourself, but what if you don’t have to? There are many ways to stay fit that you can do with your kids and your pets.
Keeping Your Kids and Yourself Fit
There are many activities you can do that will keep you and your kids having fun while getting some exercise and losing weight.
- Going for walk: whether it be taking your kids with you to walk your dog, or just going for a daily walk as a family, walking is a great way to burn calories and still be able to talk and communicate with your family after a long day. Some recommend family walks before or after dinner, preferably when it’s still a little light out. Also, if you or your spouse drives your kid to school, maybe park a few blocks away and walk the rest of the way. This will give you time early in the day to get some exercise in, and will energize your kid for his or her day of school. Just make sure you give yourself enough time and arrive a little early.
- Commercial break crunches: watch Dora with your kids? Well during the commercial break, make a game with your kids and do some crunches or push ups before the show comes back on. This way they are getting some exercise in between rotting their brain in front of the television.
- Picnic in the Park: do you all have a sunny Saturday or Sunday to spend together? Pack a picnic and bring it to the park. Also bring a yoga mat, soccer ball, or something that will keep you all active as a family. But make sure you’re packing healthy food and staying hydrated in the sun.
- Rent on Town Lake: another sunny Saturday or Sunday free? Bring your family to rent kayaks or paddle boards, and spend the day on town lake getting sun and staying fit. If you want to spice it up and make it more exciting for your older kids, bring some water guns along. Just make sure they don’t end up in the water and that you are cleaning up after yourself.
- Bike with them: if you are a strong enough biker, pack your littlest kiddo with you, and gear up the others if they need training wheels. For kids that just started biking, ride tandem with them. We recommend purchasing a WeeRide or Trail Gator, both keep your kid moving instead of you dragging him or her along. And they are lower to the ground, so you’ll still be doing most of the work. Carrying the extra weight will definitely help you burn calories and lose weight. Also, keep to a safe area, such as a low traffic residential neighborhood or a bike trail that families frequent.
A Fit Pet is a Happy Pet
Are you at the point in your busy life where you only take your dog for a walk to let it do it’s business? Do you just let it loose in the yard and only spend time when you’re cuddling on the couch? Well it’s time for you both to get out there and exercise, and definitely lose some weight in the process. Here are some ways to start.
- Jogging: this one is probably a no brainer. A lot of people do this now, and opt for running instead of walking their dog. But, there are some things you should consider before jogging with your dog:
- How old is your dog? What size is your dog? If your dog is a puppy, much older, or a smaller breed, chances are he/she can’t handle a lengthy run, and you should stick to walking.
- What breed is your dog? If your dog is a flat faced breed like a bull dog or pug, running requires too much exertion. Because of their small nostrils, breathing is much more difficult.
If your dog passes this criteria, time to check with your vet to make sure your dog can handle jogging, and if you have a yes from your vet, it’s time to start jogging. But, make sure you start out slow, especially if your dog isn’t used to running. They can get injured if you push them too hard, so make sure you ease them into it and take walking breaks in between periods of jogging.
- Fetch: yes, fetch is an exercise for dogs, but have you ever considered using it as an exercise for yourself? Get your partner or a friend and take turns. One person throws the ball or object, and then the other races with the dog to get the ball. This will push your pet harder because there is some competition. Then you are getting exercise from both sprinting and throwing. When throwing, try and alternate arms so you are getting a balanced work out.
- Stair master: become the master of any and all stairs. If you have stairs in your house or in your apartment complex, bring your dog and go up and down the stairs. Feel free to walk or hustle up, either way you’re burning calories and getting in a great work out. Make mental notes of stairs in public places, and whenever you can go on a walk, bring your pup and take on those stairs.
- Home routine: incorporate your dog into your usual home workouts that you do whenever you have a spare moment. Squats? Lunges? Jumping jacks? Even if these things are just your warm up, there are ways to get your dog involved, and will help you both lose weight. Check out http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/7-moves-you-can-do-your-pet for specific work outs.
- We hope that you feel motivated to get out there and lose weight, and make sure you bring your whole family along for the ride.