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For most moms, finding balance between work and family life can be difficult enough, let alone trying to find time to fit a healthy workout in. While getting out of the house to go to the gym, a yoga studio or spin class is a great option, it can be difficult for many moms to make arrangements with their partner or babysitter to free up this time.
A study published in Pediatrics journal found that young children are much more likely to be active if their mother makes exercise a priority. So not only will you engage in healthy activity for yourself, but you’ll also be able to bond with your children while encouraging healthy fitness habits that lower the chances of childhood obesity.
Family Bike Rides
Biking is one of the more popular forms of exercise. A study conducted by Peopleforbikes.org found that 34 percent of Americans ages three and older rode a bike at least once in the last year. Not only are family bike rides a great way to get fresh air while seeing some beautiful scenery, they also provide you with a chance to teach your children how to be safe while they’re riding so you can be more comfortable when they’re old enough go out on their own. Whether you ride around your neighborhood or pack up the SUV and take your bikes out to the trail, a 60-minute bike ride can burn roughly 710 calories, which means it’s a great way to stay fit and potentially lose a little weight.
Whether you have a pool in your backyard or you have a membership at a local gym or community center, swimming is a great low impact workout. It’s probably popular with your kids, too. Playing games as a family is a great way to spend quality time together. Need some ideas? Host a belly flop contest or organize a Boogie Board relay. The great thing about playing games in the pool is that participation requires movement, which boosts everyone’s heart rate, therefore making it a great form of exercise. While swimming is often associated with summertime, indoor pools are a great option year round, and by playing games instead of swimming laps you’ll be much more encouraged to get a full workout in.
If you live in an urban environment you may feel your options are limited for safe outdoor activity without driving long distances. However, you can use the latest technology to experience your community in a new way by playing location-based games with a GPS-enabled smartphone. For example, geocaching takes you on a scavenger hunt to seek out locations where other people have hidden geocaches, aka hidden packages you can track via an app on your smartphone. A quick Google search will yield many different kinds of geocaching games and apps, just make sure you find ones that are listed on the official geocaching website to ensure they are safe. Geocaching and other GPS games are a perfect way to turn an ordinary walk into a adventure your whole family can enjoy. Additionally, geocaching can help your children practice reading a map, develop crucial spatial skills and learn how to think on their feet. Win win!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.