Thursday, December 11, 2014

Keep Kids Active on Holiday Break

The kids are out of school and on your nerves. Sleeping late.  Raiding the fridge.  Worshipping the teen trinity of sofa, cell phone and controller.  With more than one third of American children overweight, how on earth do you keep your kids off the couch and get them healthy and active over the upcoming holiday breaks? 

“It sounds simple, but to keep kids healthy on break you have to make it fun,” says Dr. Sejal Shaw, a pediatrician from Miami’s Children’s Hospital and the creator of Power Play “If you demand your kids drop and do twenty pushups, it will backfire. It’s got to feel like play and more importantly, it’s got to feel like their idea, not your idea.”

  • While watching TV, have a contest who can come up with the most fun exercise during commercial breaks like jump roping with an invisible rope . 
  • Bring a football, soccer ball, basketball on vacation. Get outside with them and join the fun or invite a bunch of kids over to join in.
  • Head to the Mall – you can walk, window shop, and burn some extra energy at the mall.
  • Indoor Activity Centers – Visit  Indoor Jump Houses, Indoor Trampoline Houses, and  Indoor Playgrounds that have open play for kids.
  • Walk to see the Holiday Lights – instead of piling in the car to drive the neighborhood, walk to see the holiday lights.
  • Develop an indoor scavenger hunt – Depending on the age of your children, you can develop a hunt that will get the kids moving around the house. – Try “Safari Hide and Seek” –hide the Elephant and different animal toys and the child has to find it.
  • Have a Challenge – See who can do the most sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks or any other activity that will get your kids heart’s pumping.
  • Buy Active Holiday presents – try to purchase at least one present for the kids that will get them up and moving.  A Skipping rope, movement based video game, or even a hacky sack will encourage more movement.
  • Train and Race in a Charity Run together – many towns have holiday fun runs for charity.  You can train together for the big event and then run or walk the race together.
  • Create A Holiday Tradition -  Whether it’s a yearly ski trip, a trip to the woods to cut a Christmas Tree, or a visit to the outdoor skating rink – replace sedentary holiday traditions with more active ones.

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