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Spring Into Action With The Whole Family!

Mar 23, 2008
Finally, after months of being cooped up indoors, Spring is on the horizon! Fresh air, sunshine, warmer temperatures...the chance for my kids to run and play outside to release the pent-up energy they've been storing up all winter.

More than that, though, I welcome the opportunity to take off a few added "winter" pounds. I'm ashamed to say that a half-inch of dust has settled on the treadmill. The gloomy winter days just haven't provided much motivation to hop on and start walking. The television and computer have been much more appealing. But now that I'm starting to think "shorts and bathing suit season," exercise is pushing its way to the forefront of my mind. And even my kids, although not overweight, could use some physical activity that requires more than pushing the buttons on their video game controllers.

So I've decided it's time we take our idle selves off the couch and out the door into the beautiful and blossoming world God created. Care to join us? Here are a few fresh ideas to get your blood flowing, heart pumping and metabolism racing. The best part is that these are all activities the whole family can enjoy together:

* Roll away the pounds - The next time the kids slip on their rollerblades, why not join them? Show them a trick or two as you race them around the block. If it's been a while, you may want to wear some extra pads, and maybe even strap a throw pillow to your waist. You may look funny but if you happen to take a fall without the pillow in place, you definitely won't be laughing.

* Do the Hula (hoop) - Revisit your younger years and try your hand (or hips) at hula-hooping. Even if it takes an hour to get the hang of it, think of all the exercise you'll be getting just bending to pick up that hoop.

* Hop, Skip and Jump - HOP: Grab a stick of sidewalk chalk and draw some hopscotch squares. The tricky part will be remembering how the game is played but your kids will be quick to remind you. SKIP: Forget your inhibitions and skip your way around the house. You'll feel muscles you forgot you had. If your neighbors look at you weird, just wave and ask them to join you. They obviously need to release their inhibitions, as well. JUMP: Dig out the jump rope that's tangled up in your toy pile. How many jumps can you do in a row without missing? Mix it up by jumping on one foot, backwards, and criss-cross.

* It's Easy (and fun!) being Green. Pickle was a favorite game when I was a kid and is now one of my kids' favorites. Set up two bases (ball gloves or chair cushions work well) a few yards apart. One person stands at each base and throws a tennis ball back and forth with the other "base" person while one or two runners try to make it to the other "safe base" before being tagged out. Be sure to take your turn as runner to get your fair amount of exhaustion (I mean, exercise). Bonus: everyone will sleep well that night!

These are only a few ideas to get you outdoors and exercising this spring. The important thing is that you find a fun activity you can enjoy with your kids to move the whole family into health.
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