Today childhood obesity is a major concern among parents and the medical community. This generation of kids is less active and more obese than any generation before.
Wouldn't it be great if your kids naturally enjoyed exercise? If this were the case then childhood obesity wouldn't be the looming problem that it is.
As adults we exercise to improve health, stay fit, and control weight. But what motivates a child to be physically active? Fun. Ultimately, if children and adults enjoy an activity, they're more likely to stick with it.
As you know, an inactive child has a greater chance of becoming an inactive adult if healthy habits aren't instilled early in life. And it's never too early to start.
What better way to get your kids moving than to find a fun exercise activity your whole family can enjoy together? Your family will not only be healthier and trimmer, but will spend quality time connecting and set habits that may last a lifetime.
Just remember that exercising as a family won't look like your typical workout. Here are some fun, creative ways to incorporate exercise into the life of your family.
Make Chore Time Fun Time
Let's face it: chores and kids don't mix. Not willingly at least. Chores and fun don't usually mix, either. How can you combine chores with fitness while making it fun at the same time?
Turn up your family's favorite tunes and sing and dance while cleaning the house. Let the kids take turns choosing the music. All ages can be involved. The youngest can pick up toys or sweep the floors. The older kids can vacuum, dust, and help with laundry.
While you're at it, turn chores into a competition. Who can clean his or her room the fastest? (Without stuffing everything in the closet.)
Want a little more wiggle in your family exercise routine? Invite the kids' friends over for a dance party. Move the furniture out of the way, turn down the lights, and turn up the tunes! Then get moving.
Kids will have a great time with this. If you have a Wii dance game, take turns in dance competition.
Family Fitness Nights
Family fun night is often spent sitting around watching a movie or playing a board game. How can you turn family nights into fitness nights?
Go on a bike ride together. Head to a nearby trail in the woods and go on a hike. Invite another family to join you and organize a soccer game, whiffleball tournament, or relay races. Set up a badminton net in the backyard.
If there's snow on the ground, get out the sleds and head to a nearby hill. What about roller-skating as a family? Now there's a fun family workout! Let each family member take turns choosing which activity to do on family nights, but keep the nights focused on fun fitness.
Hire a Personal Trainer
Each person has different fitness needs and goals. Call or email me today to design a workout program for each family member.
A great way to stay motivated as a family to keep exercising is to track individual progress. If one family member needs to lose weight and another is trying to bench press heavier weight, track both of their progress and encourage them along the way.
You can also have all family members wear a pedometer and reward the person with the most steps, or choose an exercise of the month. Good choices are squats, lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, or jump rope. At the beginning of the month, each family member must perform his or her maximum number of repetitions. After a month of training, the person with the highest percentage of improvement gets a small reward.
And keep progress at the forefront with a chart on your refrigerator to track your family's fitness goals.
A Way of Life
When fitness is incorporated into everyday life, it won't become a drag or another thing to fit into your already busy schedule. Set aside just an hour two to three times a week to get moving as a family. Your kids will have fun and learn valuable life lessons.
Call or email today and I will schedule a time to meet with you one-on-one to strategize the quickest and most effective route to meeting your family's fitness goals.
Everyone I know in the yoga world is totally
obsessed with opening up their hips.
I've got one friend who sits in full lotus at the movie
theater and doesn't allow himself to release his
legs until the credits role.
It sort of is. But I understand 'cause my hips used
to be so locked-up that it HURT just to sit on the
I distinctly remember being at a nutrition lecture
in 2002, sitting school-style on the floor for about
30-minutes straight, and both my legs went completely
... and I was dripping with sweet because that was
a huge hip stretch for me--just sitting on my arse!
So yeah, it's sorta stupid to get obsessed over tight
hips, but if it's time to change your body, I'm all for
doing whatever it takes.
For massive flexibility gains, I usually teach passive
stretching (I call them Gravity Poses). But particularly
for tight hips, there are a couple standing postures
that work wonders.
SECRET HIP OPENER #1: Warrior I Posture
This pose is taught in almost every yoga class, but
usually you just cruise through it. I like to use a
clock and hold it steady for 3-5 minutes per side
(Iyengar flashbacks, anyone?). Try it and your hips
will get incredibly soft and limber.
SECRET HIP OPENER #2: Crescent Lunge
Same idea, but take your back heal off the ground.
I like to alternate static holds between Warrior I
and Crescent Lunge until my hips are REALLY loose,
and then I'll do some classic hip openers like a
butterfly or king pigeon.
Your hips are massive joints with gobs of connective
tissue that you need to train, stretch, and release.
So be patient!
PLEASE NOTE: in both these postures, keep your front
ankle in-line with (or in front of) your front knee for
safety. That's all for today...
We've all heard that snacking is great for the metabolism...but have you taken it too far?
In other words, your excessive snacking may be killing your fitness results.
Let's face it, there are only so many extra calories that the body can take before it adds those on as unwanted fat.
Even if you're eating perfectly healthy meals and putting in your time at the gym, if your snacking is out of control then your results will be disappointing.
Here's what you need to know to avoid The Snack Trap:
1) Calories Count. Even when you're snacking on "healthy" food, you've got to keep track of how many calories that you're taking in. Almonds are healthy, but if you down 800 extra calories in them you'll quickly gain weight.
2) Fill Up on Protein & Fat. A lot of well-meaning people are still afraid of fat. They think that if their snack is high in fat then it will end up on their body as fat. This is simply not true. Healthy fat, such as avocado or almonds, is a wonderful thing to snack on as it fills you up and keeps you full longer.
3) Avoid Sugar Calories. Sugar is an awful thing to snack on when weight loss is your goal. Refined sugar is a catalyst for fat storage, so avoid any snack that contains sugar. Remember that eating sugar will satiate your hunger for a very short period of time, and then you'll quickly be hungry again.
4) Don't Be Fooled By 100-Calorie Packs. A popular marketing technique is to package junk food into 100-calorie packs. These could be crackers, cookies, chips...basically any guilty snack food you could think of. The premise is that since you're only eating 100 calories, the snack is healthy. I'm sorry, folks, but eating 100 calories of junk food is not a healthy snack. You are better off avoiding the junk completely and eating something wholesome.
5) Use The 'Is It Real' Test. As a rule of thumb, you should use the "Is it real?" test when deciding if a snack is worth eating. The test goes like this: If your snack can go bad, then it's good for you. If your snack can't go bad, then it's bad for you. The idea is to eat fresh, real foods that are unprocessed and wholesome. These real foods are naturally filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals and will assist you in achieving your fitness goals.
6) Avoid Refined Carbohydrates. Processed and refined carbohydrates make up the bulk of popular snack foods. Take a look around the snack aisle at the grocery store and you will see that most packaged snacks are made with grains. When your goal is to lose weight and increase lean muscle then eating refined grains will work against you. If you only take one tip away from this article, let it be to remove grain-based snacks from your life. This single change could very well recharge your weight loss.
Now you know how to snack in a healthy way that will not derail your fitness goals.
Remember that exercise plays a huge part in getting in shape and losing weight.
Call or email me today to get started on a results-driven exercise program.
Owner and Lead Personal Trainer at Perfect Fit Wellness Center.