Monday, November 14, 2011

Fun Exercise!

I have been intentionally trying to be creative with exercising and burning extra calories.  Since I'm currently teaching a kindergarten class (as well as my own 4 and 2 year old at home), I figured one creative way to burn extra calories throughout my day was by playing with them!  Here are some ways to play with, teach, or test your children at different skills while burning some extra calories yourself! 

Skipping- By kindergarten (age 5ish), most kids should be able to skip properly.  Ask your child if they want to skip around the house (backyard, park, etc.) with you!  For younger children, just have them "skip" however they can alongside you (their gross motor skills may not be developed enough yet to do this well).  For older kids, check that they are skipping properly.  If they are not, go through the movements slowly and have them mimic your motions.  You will burn around 21-26 calories in 2 minutes of skipping while your child practices their coordination!

Counting- While teaching your children about different numbers (say, 12), ask them to jump 12 times with you.  Count together while you both jump as high as possible into the air.  Try different numbers and be creative.  How about 13 frog jumps?  Or 7 bear crawls?  Or 23 jumping jacks (this would be better coordination-wise for an older child, though you can start demonstrating these to a younger child, too).  You will burn 8-10 calories in 2 minutes of jumping, and your child will get to exercise with you while practicing their numbers and counting! 

Brushing Teeth- Teaching children good dental hygiene from a young age is so very important.  Did you know you can burn calories while brushing?  Make it a priority by doing it together, and a fun activity by singing songs (this is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, this is the way we brush our teeth, right before bed!-sung to "Here we go 'round the mulberry bush").  You will burn about 7 calories in 3 minutes of brushing, and your child will learn the importance of good brushing habits!

Tag- What kid doesn't like to play tag?  It's great fun, and teaches turn taking, rule following, and game-playing skills.  Play a game of tag with your child for 10 minutes and burn 40-60 calories!

These are just a few activities that you could do with your child.  The possibilities are endless.  Several good things will result from these activities:
  • Your child will get to learn and practice skills!
  • You will burn some extra calories!
  • You will get to spend some quality "fun" time with your child!
  • Your will be your child's "teacher" and you can see where they may need some extra help!
  • Your child will get to exercise in a fun way, too, and will hopefully develop a love for exercising from your example!

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