5 Things Your Children Can Teach You About Fitness

The following is a guest post by Sarah Clachar of Fit Family Together. Simple Kids is so pleased to welcome Sarah for a series this week about family fitness.  Enjoy!

Ah, personal trainers . . . How can you not feel inspired to get fit when confronted by someone who feels confident in spandex and looks like they’re good friends with the weight machine.

However, truth be told, these guys and gals have nothing on the 2- to 3-foot-high fitness experts any mom has close at hand – your kids.

When it comes to folks who know about moving your body, children put most fitness gurus to shame.

My two kids have taught me oodles about how to make fitness easier and more enjoyable.
What’s more, I’ve found that joining them in their activity is much better than trying to sneak fitness in when they’re napping (along with everything else on your to-do list!)  Family fitness beats going solo hands down!

So here are 5 important things you can learn from your very own in-house personal trainers, your kids:

Kid Fitness Inspiration #1: Just Move!

I can’t count the times I’ve said to my son, “Can’t you just sit still for a few minutes?!” Familiar, huh?

Well, consider turning this source of frustration into inspiration.

Just recently the American Cancer Society came out with a startling statistic: If you sit more than 6 hours a day, you are 40% more likely to die early than someone who sits for less than 4 hours a day.  And get this – it doesn’t matter if you exercise for an hour a day. If you’re sitting 6+ hours, you’re still risking an early end.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have already demonstrated that low-key movement throughout the day can do more to help you stay slim than gym workouts.

So follow your kids’ example and sit still less, move more. Stand up and wiggle your hips when you’re on the phone. Read a book pacing back and forth. Walk and talk with your spouse.

And bring more movement into daily activities. Here’s one of my favorites: Make small sidekicks as you brush your teeth. Do this 10 times each side. It keeps me brushing longer too!

Watch your kids wind their way through tasks for great ideas.

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iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge: Week Two, A Mouse in Our House

The following was written by editor Kara Fleck.

Our family is joining in with the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge.  This is our second week on the challenge and we’re having a great time reading together!

To go along with the challenge, we’re using (and loving) Life As Mom’s Summer Survival Guide and following  the weekly themes that Jessica suggests.  This week, there was a mouse in our house. (Okay, not really, but it sure made for a fun theme)

Here is what we’ve been up to this week:
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A Personal Challenge: Be Like the Sun

The following was originally published in July 2010.  Between doctor’s appointments, the end of the school year, and other obligations, this week finds me in a similar space mentally that I was in when this post was written.  So, it seems like an appropriate, and gentle, reminder to slow down, forget playing “catch up” and to just focus on where we are right now.  I thought perhaps a few of you could use the reminder, too.  Enjoy!

Last week was a busy one at the Fleck household.  Far busier than I would have liked, actually.  By the end of the week we were still playing “catch-up” and spent a good part of Saturday morning rushing around trying to finish up errands and tasks that we didn’t have time for earlier in the week.  That is not how I like for things to be around here.

Rushing  leaves Chris and I grouchy, the children whining, and it makes me resent the “to-do” list and things that sounded fun when we first planned them.

By Saturday evening, I knew that it was time to change the pace.  We made the rest of the weekend about slowing down and ignoring the “to-do” list. Once the pace of the weekend slowed down we were able to enjoy it. That is how I would like the rest of this summer to be.

So, I am giving myself a personal challenge this week: to Be Like the Sun.

“Be the Sun! Move slowly and compassionately, especially in disciplinary situations, bringing warmth and light – it’s a tall order! You may need to practice.” - Sharifa Oppenheimer, Heaven on Earth

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Your Free, Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

The following is by contributor NJ Renie.

Once again Father’s Day has crept up on you. Sure, the father in your life deserves the best, but you have no money, no time to shop, and let’s face it the truth is that he’ll still be Dad whether you give him a tie or not!

Have no fear, Simple Kids readers. The gift of service is free and always in fashion. [Read more...]

Weekend Links

And, did you guys see? The Great Outdoors MEGA Issue of Action Pack for June/July 2011 is out!  This issue has campfire cooking, weather science experiments, boredom busting games for travel, and more!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!