This post brought to you by American Heart Association. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Homegrown & Healthy.
It’s February, baby! That typically means that most of us have healthy living on the mind. I hope that this year you’re making a commitment to taking care of the most important in your life: that’s you.
We mothers try to do everything for everyone else, often leaving ourselves feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. That stress, in turn, affects our loved ones – the very people we are living each day for. By putting ourselves– and our health first– we’re setting a precedent for our children to teach them how to take care of themselves.
Whether we like it or not, our children are always watching us and our good habits will rub off on them. My goal was to hit the gym a few days a week. With my husband’s hard-to-predict work schedule and a clingy toddler, on top of two older girls who I need to chauffeur around town during the week, it’s been really hard to meet that goal. Don’t worry, today’s post isn’t going to be about making difficult to attain resolutions that you’ll have dropped by next week. I’ve had to shift my point of view to figure out how I can get the exercise I need while including my children.
The American Heart Association is encouraging moms to join the movement toward making healthier decisions to live a healthier, longer life as part of their Life Is Why initiative. Our children look up to us to set an example for them on how to make healthy habits that they’ll carry for the rest of their lives, so let’s set the right example! The more moms that make healthy living a priority, the healthier our future will be.
Everyone has a reason to live a healthier, longer life. What’s yours? For me, healthy choices are important because I need to have more energy to spend better quality time with my children. Keeping up with three kids is no easy task, and having the energy to play with them means I have to make a lot of good choices! (PS: You can submit your own reasons here) But let’s be realistic: Just because YOU want everyone involved doesn’t mean that the whole family is necessarily on board. So here’s three ideas on how you can convince your kids to come along with you and hopefully in the end, everyone will have more fun. More fun means it’ll be much easier to keep your fitness goals. And that means? A longer, happier life.
Make it interesting
Capitalize on your kids’ interests if they have an affection for science, nature, weather, and so forth. Children interested in architecture might enjoy a walk in a historic district of a city, or in a neighborhood with interesting houses. A bird-watching child may like a walk with a pair of binoculars and a field guide to identifying local birds. Field guides are great additions for children who like rocks, feathers, bugs, plants, and any number of things.
Give the walk a purpose
Having an activity planned at the end of the walk or during it helps. Walk to a playground, for instance, or to the neighborhood running track or soccer field. You can take a walk to a picnic site, or to a field where you can fly a kite and throw a Frisbee. Maybe there is a park or forest your family can walk in that has a creek for wading or an interesting natural feature, such as a huge rock or waterfall. Sometimes, just having a goal to the walk helps children warm up to the idea.
Regardless of where your walk is taking place, think ahead of sights you’ll see or landmarks that occur along the route. Then draw, write, or cut out pictures of these landmarks or sights on a piece of paper and give it to your kids. They’ll like looking for the items. Make some of them obscure and hard to find so you can take the same route several times before they find everything.