Happy New Year! If you’re like most of us, you made a list of things you’d like to change this year, but as a Together Counts™ Energy Balance Ambassador, I’ve got one simple thing I’d like you to add to your resolutions list: be more active with your family. Why? Well, because spending time with your kids bonding and working on your energy balance is pretty much the best thing you can do for the emotional and physical well-being of the whole family. But, since “be more active with my family” is kind of a vague resolution (and since I’m such a nice gal), I’m going to give you three practical, concrete ways to get active with your crew this year.
1) Get outside in the cold. I know it’s cold outside in most parts of the country, but if you wait until it gets warm to get started with this resolution, it’s probably never going to happen. Last year (like most of the country) we had the WORST winter ever, but my family still managed to make it an active one. We found that if you bundle up well enough, everyone can benefit from 15 -30 minutes of playing outside in the cold (especially if there’s snow to distract from the temps). Turn “Freeze Tag” into a literal game and get busy outside with the kiddos. Running around with those stir-crazy babies of yours will warm you up in no time. Other great winter energy balance activities include ice skating, indoor swimming (waterpark hotels make a great day outing!), and if you’re a member, hitting your local rec center or YMCA to see what they have to offer.
2) Put activity on the calendar. Schedules are crazy these days, they just ARE. (We’re in the stage of life where every weekend our kids are invited to at least one birthday party – exhausting, right?) Mark my words, unless you put family activity on the calendar, something else will jump on that schedule and take its place. So take a tip from a busy mom who has been there: put a family energy balance activity on the schedule – at least once a month – and make it sacred.
3) Let the kids help you plan. To truly make staying active together a resolution you can keep, let your kiddos help you plan the activities when you’re putting them on the calendar. Tap into their interests and feed them! Getting kids excited about active family time will only serve to get YOU genuinely excited about it and committed to keeping it up. Because if you’re a parent, you know what I mean when I say I do all kinds of things I never thought I would (Pokemon cards, anyone?), because my kids are excited about them. When they get excited and joyful about an activity, so do I.
Don’t delay, friends! Take a good look at your resolutions list and make room to add “be active with the family” near the TOP. I promise it’s one resolution you and your kiddos will be so glad you made – and kept.
What are your favorite ways to stay active in your family, especially in the winter months?
Jenny Rapson is a writer and social media project manager who lives in southwest Ohio with her husband of thirteen years and their three great kiddos. When she’s not cutting up grapes for her toddler or serving as referee for her school-agers, she co-authors the funniest parenting and lifestyle blog ever (written by first cousins, that is) over at Mommin’ It Up with her cousin Emily Berry.