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Don't leave the kids behind….

One of the obstacles for many families to including fitness in the day is figuring out how to entertain the kids while also getting a workout in! After all, you don't want to come back after a great workout to find a small disaster has occurred in your house while you were out. Or, if your kids are too young to stay at home alone, you can't leave them there anyway, making it even more challenging to get your daily fitness in.

Why not put a new perspective on this little challenge? Why not just take the kids along? I know......this can sometimes be challenging in its own ways, ie. motivating the kids to get out the door, convincing them to participate, and having to listen to the occasional, "but, why do we have to do fitness, or are we done yet?" Believe me, I'm all too familiar with these challenges. But, I'm also determined not to let them get in the way of daily fitness. After all, fitness is important, not only for physical health, but mental health as well. Exercise can help clear the mud in the mind! Not only that, but particularly for me, it helps me to have more patience throughout the day, to have the ability to respond to, instead of react to situations.

So you may be asking, "How do I do this? How do I find activities that both my kids and I will enjoy, and at the same time, get the heart rate elevated?" I recommend figuring out what equipment you already have at home that you can may be able to creatively use to get your kids involved in fitness. For our household, this equipment includes, bikes, running shoes, skateboards, and scooters! These are all things my kids already have, but can easily entertain them while I'm out on a walk or run! For us, having the kids ride their bikes while I'm on longer runs works best. For now, I can easily keep up with them on a run while they accompany me on their bikes. We also like to go to the track that's close to our house. Here, I create little challenges for them (like racing each other along the straightaways, completing mini circuits with jumping jacks, lunges, or push-ups and sit-ups). I either participate with them or run my workout on the track while they have fun with their own little competition.

And then, sometimes we pack their bikes in the car and find a local trail. We're fortunate to live within a few miles of a city Greenway. This is truly a gem! The kids love riding their bikes there. The trail is nicely shaded by an umbrella of trees, so we can go there even on the hottest of days, and believe me, there are some hot ones in our part of the country!

My favorite part about this fitness option is also seeing some wildlife and using these moments to teach the kids about the beauty of nature. We've spotted deer, lizards, and many different types of birds so far on these rides.

All this said, keep an open mind when it comes to including your kids in your fitness routine. Don't leave them behind. They can learn at an early age the importance of fitness for health, while also gaining an appreciation of nature that's ever so present around you where you live, even in the city! My kids have come to expect to participate in my daily fitness routine, and even to have input on what we do!

Fitness goal achieved!!


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