Your kids have energy. Lots of it. Kids take up your time. Lot of it. You want to get in some exercise too. How do you fit it in? Whether your goal is to build fitness, tone muscle, lose weight, or just get moving to loosen up the kinks in your back and neck from sitting all day – fitting that exercise in when you have kids can be a little challenging at times.
But what if you could exercise as a family? Your kids can burn off their excess energy before bed. You can work toward your fitness goals. And you get the added bonus of spending quality time together, laughing and making memories.
Try these 10 ways to exercise as a family and make healthy living a fun habit:
It may sound simple, but just heading out to the backyard or a nearby park with a soccer ball, a frisbee, or just the intention to have some fun can give you and the kids a great workout. Playing tag, throwing and catching balls or Frisbees, somersaults, swings and slides can all give a great cardio workout while also giving kids opportunities for important physical literacy development.
Go for an after-dinner walk and see what you can discover. This can be fun for even the youngest of toddlers. Check out some ways to make a family walk fun here.
Hit the trails on a family bike ride. Convoy around your city’s bike paths and take rest stops at newly discovered playgrounds for games of tag or even monkey bar pull-ups. Find tips on bicycle safety here.
Create obstacle courses inside or outside with tasks that each family member must complete before moving on. Hopscotch, 2 basketball baskets, 5 push ups, 10 burpees, 20 jumping jacks, 15 seconds balancing on one foot – a lot of exercises can be incorporated into a fun game that everyone can play.
Turn your kids into free weights like this dad. It’s fun for them and an even tougher workout for you –real weights don’t giggle and squirm.
If your kids are older and interested, why not train together for a 5K or 10K race? Lots of charities plan fundraising funs and this can turn into a great bonding time for parent and child while also being a positive learning opportunity about hard work and helping others.
Allow each family member to pick an exercise such as 10 jumping jacks, 20 crunches, or 6 flights of stairs that each person will try to do every day for the competition timeframe. You can create a fun chart to track everyone’s totals. Don’t forget to agree on a prize beforehand!
Turn birthdays into activity-focused adventures instead of stuff. Go to the zoo, go skiing or tobogganing, try a new sport, go for a hike or a canoe ride. The gift will last a lot longer as – and the adventure will include everyone.
Get Your Groove On
Crank up your favourite tunes and take turns teaching each other your best (or craziest) dance moves.
Have a favourite family TV show? Make it into a workout with jumping jacks, push-ups or running in place during the commercial breaks. Or, if you record or watch on Netflix, make the show your workout guide. Every time character A cooks or character B laughs, do 10 push-ups. Every time the theme song plays, do 20 jumping jacks. You can find lots of guides online for various TV shows, or make up your own.
How do you exercise with your family?
Forget cookies, granola bars and regular chips. Here are some fun, tasty, and healthy snacks your kids will love.
Frozen yogurt strawberries
For the sweet tooth, dip strawberries in vanilla-flavoured greek yogurt and lay them on a tray lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for a few hours so the yogurt hardens. You can coat and freeze them once or twice. It’s pretty, it’s fun, and it’s packed with flavour!
Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches
As long as there are no nut (or banana) allergies, slice a few bananas into medium-sized coins. Lay them out in pairs and add a ½ teaspoon of peanut butter on one row. Stack the remaining slices on top to create little sandwiched. Place in a wax paper lined container and freeze. Pop them out for a bite-sized sweet snack.
Apples and Cheese
Slice up some apples. Slice up some cheese. Simple. Tasty.
One of my favourite snacks when I was a kid. Mom would slice up fruit and my brothers and I got to slide the slices onto wooden skewers in as many different patterns as we liked. Apple slices, banana slices, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, orange slices, watermelon cubes. Tasty, all natural, and fun! Draw some patterns for your kids to follow and make it a contest to see who can follow the pattern.
Make your own flavours without the added sugar. Again, another great one for kids to get involved in. Allow children to pick their favourite fruits, puree them in the blender and pour into molds purchased from the dollar or grocery store. Add some coconut water if the mixtures are a little too thick. Then place in the freezer and wait a few hours. If you know the day will be scorching, make popsicles in the morning just after breakfast and they should be ready by mid-afternoon!
Homemade Potato Chips
For those who prefer a saltier flavour, try four ingredient homemade chips. Ingredients: potato, salt, garlic powder, onion powder. Microwave thin potato slices for 6 minutes between sheets of parchment paper. It can take some time to make a good size batch, but the fun of making your own potato chips can definitely make it worth it.
This summer will mark the 15th Annual YMCA Calgary Kids in Motion and Day Camps Food Drive! This year’s food drive will take place the week of August 11th, 2014. Keep your eyes open for enthusiastic YMCA kids and youth who will be collecting food donations in your community in support of the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank.
We will also be accepting nonperishable food donations in our branches, so keep a look out for a box in your branch’s lobby.
Kids in Motion and Daycamps will be collecting in the following sixteen communities on the following days:
Wednesday, August 13:
Connaught, Millican/Ogden, Vista/Mayland Heights, Marlborough Park, Falconridge
Thursday, August 14:
Rosscarrock, West Dover, Inglewood, Albert Park/Radisson Heights, Huntington Hills, Arbour Lake, Sunnyside, Altadore, Somerset, Martindale
Friday, August 15:
What is Kids In Motion?
YMCA Kids in Motion (KIM) is a summer outreach program that gives elementary school aged children (ages 9-12) the opportunity to volunteer in meaningful community projects in their neighbourhoods such as the food drive, community gardens, working with community organizations or older adults. As a reward for their work, the participants get to enjoy recreational activities they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do like swimming, outdoor activities and visits to local attractions. KIM lets participants learn about community responsibility and encourages community involvement, caring for others and teamwork. Children also gain community service experience, have a chance to meet new friends, and gain increased self-confidence knowing they have helped to better their communities.
We would like to recognize and extend a big thank you to our Food Drive sponsors this year. Without their efforts and continued support the Food drive would not be possible!
Eagle Well Servicing operates a fleet of 65 mobile, freestanding single, double and slant service rigs from centres throughout Western Canada. With an industry leading operations team and state-of-the-art rigs, Eagle rises above the rest when it comes to safe, efficient, functional well servicing.
Staff from Eagle Well Servicing will be donating their valuable time to helping the food get from the communities to the Food Bank. In addition, they will be donating a considerable amount of food themselves.
Southland Transportation Ltd. is committed to safety and service in the people transportation business. Southland operates school, charter, commuter and specialized transportation buses throughout Alberta and in Saskatchewan.
Southland Transportation Ltd. will be the main form of transportation for a Kid’s in Motion group during August 13, 2014. The busing company will follow a group of children through the Connaught community and pick up any donated food. Southland Transportation Ltd will then drive the kids to the Food Bank to participate in the festivities and help unload and weigh food.
Why not try to inspire people to develop healthy habits by creating appealing images displaying different reasons to get active and exercise?
So, for the next few months, a new inspiring Reason to Get Active will be released via our social media every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Follow YMCA_Calgary on Twitter or Like YMCA Calgary on Facebook to follow along.
Here is our very first of 50 Reasons to Get Active:
Tabata Bootcamp is a 9-week program designed to help you achieve your goals of weight-loss, toning, fitness & increased energy through 4 components:
- Exercise Program
- Nutritional Guidance
- Social Support & Motivation
- Assessment & Results Tracking
Attend 3 group classes each week and do daily 7-minute workouts at home using the Tabata Bootcamp website.
Attend 4 group sessions with a Registered Nutritionist to learn how to:
- complete a food journal
- make healthy choices and understand why they are healthy
- track your calorie intake
- manage your portion control
Social Support & Motivation
Motivation and support from others is a key part of reaching your health goals. Connect daily with your coach and your peer group. Get to know other participants who have similar health and lifestyle goals.
Assessment & Results Tracking
Get help assessing and tracking your progress so you can really see the difference your hard work is making.
Space is Limited. Register Today!
9 Week Program begins Monday, September 15, 2014
Crowfoot YMCA- 403-547-6576
Cost: $300 for YMCA Members $399 for General Public
Members can register online (Course Code# 96028)
Contact Bogi for more information.
Reach for your goals today!
Why I like the ‘Y’
I became a senior member of the YMCA in April 2013. I was sixty-nine. My wife persuaded me to join because she thought that I needed more physical activity and social interaction. Or did she just want me out of the house? Regardless of her motives, it was great advice.
A staff trainer, Laura Byford-Richardson, got me started. She balanced my goals with my age, physical abilities and state of health. Three years earlier I had a deadly form of cancer that went into remission after a blood stem cell transplant. So my main goal was to remain healthy and avoid other problems that occur with aging like heart disease and diabetes. She designed an initial program for me and showed me how to use the equipment. And so it began. By last July I was hooked. My body now craved exercise. And then I discovered FitLinxx. It goaded me to do better. It got my dormant, competitive juices flowing again. I actually wanted to beat the monthly performance of other members. And I did occasionally earning words of encouragement and praise from Laura.
It is now fifteen months later. My physical goals have been met. I have lost substantial weight. I have lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol to safe levels. I can sustain long, strenuous workouts. I feel more alive. I have no new health issues and my cancer is still at bay.
But how have I done socially? The staff and the community atmosphere of the gym gave me the confidence to meet other members. After all, we shared a common interest, the pursuit of physical fitness and we saw each other frequently. Our brief hellos have led to conversations and in time, to friendships.
And that is how I met Fran. We ran into each other when we were both headed to the same weight machine. Somehow this encounter led to war stories about shoulder injuries and the beginning of a new friendship. We wound up doing our cardio together in a corner of the gym with Fran on the Cross Trainer and me, beside her, on the Stationary Bicycle. Like a typical male, I thought she was going to slow me down. Then I found out that she was a former Masters competitive swimmer, still swims two miles per week and spends hours at the gym using most of the weight machines. It was I who was going to be the laggard. But Fran is gracious and she always makes time for our cardio workouts.
And that is why I like the ‘Y’.
South Health Campus YMCA
It’s time for Fall Program Registration!
YMCA members can register starting Monday, July 28. Non-member registration begins Monday, August 18.
Enjoy great programs like:
3 Ways to Register
Member Zone is your online hub to register online, print receipts, and view or change YMCA account information.
Online Registration Tips:
- As a YMCA member, you already have a Login account.
- You need to know your Login ID and Family PIN.
Get your Login Information
Call your YMCA Calgary location to get your LogIn information OR:
1. Visit www.ymcacalgary.org/memberzone. Click on Login.
2. Click on Forgot Login Information?
3. Enter your email address and your Login info will be sent to you. If you do not know the email address you signed up with, contact your YMCA location and they will be happy to send you your Login ID and Family PIN.
When was the last time you went for a walk in nature? Just walked for the sake of walking? of observing the leaves and the rocks? the light and the sky?
The other day I did just that. Went for a walk in nature. My husband and I were on Vancouver Island and were exploring. We went to Goldstream Provincial Park to walk to a waterfall.
We walked along the trail.
We didn’t talk very much.
We just looked.
We looked at the rocks at our feet.
We looked at the trees and leaves around us.
We looked at the moss.
We looked at the light filtering through the forest.
We looked at the waterfall.
When we arrived at its base, I sat on a rock and just observed. Just listened to the sounds of the water, the wind, the leaves.
It was peaceful.
It was relaxing.
It was refreshing.
During the week of August 11, 2014, the15th Annual YMCA Calgary Kids in Motion and Day Camps Food Drive will take place.
Enthusiastic YMCA kids and youth will be collecting food donations in various Calgary communities in support of the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank.
Kids in Motion is a summer volunteer program for young people ages nine to 12. Participants volunteer in meaningful projects in their local community and in return gain opportunities to enjoy recreational activities. The values, lessons and opportunities youth gain from this program are invaluable. They learn to work as a team, share pride in a job well done, make a positive contribution to their community and develop lifelong leadership skills.
August 13, 14, & 15 please support Kids In Motion participants and our day-campers as they collect donations for this year’s drive. Be sure to watch for your Food Bank bag and reminder flyer a few days before the food drive begins.
You’re invited to our annual YMCA Strong Kids fundraiser, Jump For Joi Skip-a-thon!
Join us for an afternoon of fun including a silent auction and special guests.
Wednesday, August 13
12:00 – 5:30pm
Jump for Joi honours the memory of Joilinn Edgar, former YMCA Calgary day camp counselor and passionate supporter of YMCA Strong Kids.
For more information please visit Member Services at Shawnessy YMCA or call (403) 256-5533