Newton’s law of inertia says that an object sitting still will stay still unless a force is acted upon it. And an object that is moving will keep moving unless it is stopped. Well Moms, we’re that force for our kids. Watch a young baby or a toddler. They almost never stay still. Kids stay in motion, oh until we put them in school for seven hours a day with no PE(!!!) and then expect them to stay active as they get older. The rate of childhood obesity in America is testament to the fact that what we’re (NOT) doing is working.
So earlier this week we showed up at the park a whole hour early for the soccer team party. So I got to practice what I preach. My two youngest and I made a great obstacle course out of the playground and surrounding area. And guess what…they had a blast, and didn’t even know they were exercising! Plus I got a pretty good workout in, and having my kids with me made me feel less self conscious about doing tricep dips on the monkey bars.
Here is an idea you can use to turn your neighborhood park into a workout (or playout) for you and your kids:
Keep some inexpensive, colorful cones in your car for easy set up. You will do one cardio drill and one strength drill, going back and forth until you drop, or until the kids get bored.
1. Put cones in a line on the grass, 5 feet apart. Run them like a slalom course zig-zagging down and back
2. Do 10 push ups on a park bench
3. Make two rows of cones about 4 feet apart. “Speed skate” from side to side down and back
4. Go back to the park bench and do 10 tricep dips
5. Place the cones in a big circle and play a game of tag, staying inside the circle
6. Hold each other’s feet while you do sit ups
7. Play hide the cones, finders have to run as they search. If you find a cone, everyone has to close their eyes and count to 20 while the finder hides it again in another spot.
8. Do step ups on a curb or bench. 10 times on each leg.
9. Place cones in a square. Try to walk an imaginary tightrope between cones going around the square
10. Do pull ups on the monkey bars. Help the kids by holding their knees while standing behind them
Get creative. The idea is to let your kids see you being healthy and active. They will love the idea that you’re really playing with them! Let me know what ideas you come up with.