More PLAY, Less WORK: 3 ways to keep your kids healthy with active play
By Joseph Vivens
While talking about my book series and the vision I have of it being a force to promote healthy eating & active play for kids, I was asked, “What do you mean by active play?” After answering the question I began to think about how many of our readers may be unfamiliar with the term and how active play can be misinterpreted.
Some equate active play with exercise or a strenuous workout that makes us sweaty, stinky and and achey!. What if I told you, it doesn’t have to be that way? You can get a good workout just by engaging in some fun and entertaining active play. In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of walking. With the winter months upon us it’s going to be difficult to justify going out for a walk in 10 degree weather. So, I’m going to remind you of 3 active play childhood games that also provide a healthy parent/child bonding experience.. You can play these games back to back for a minimum of 10 minutes each. This will give you at least 30 minutes of the 60 minutes your kids should have daily.
ACTIVE PLAY ACTIVITY #1
This is a great way to warm up because you can sneak in some really good stretches in between the silly faces. Research has shown that stretching has numerous benefits including fewer aches & pains, improved flexibility and increased blood flow to the brain.
ACTIVE PLAY ACTIVITY #2
Duck Duck Goose
Clear the space and make room for this perfect second warm up ahead of the next activity. This is great to play with a group of kids. The anticipation of being picked is so exciting that your kid’s heart will be racing before they even make a move. Obviously, a slow jog around the living or family room area will be enough to give you a mild cardio workout. If you’re playing with a small group or only have one child, incorporate some of the stuffed animals or toys. It’s fun for the kid to have Mom or Dad chasing them around the circle with Mickey Mouse while Elmo and the rest of the gang watches.
ACTIVE PLAY ACTIVITY #3
Although, I said going out for a walk in 10 degree weather is hard to justify, it’s different if you’re running. Running in the cold is better for you as opposed to running in the heat which can take a toll on the body. Hence, the reason why the majority of long distance running events do not happen in the summer months. So bundle up and take 10-15 minutes to chase each other in the front yard or the local park.
Finally, remember to stay hydrated because it may be tough to remember with all the fun you will have engaging in active play with your kids.
Chunky and Friends: Chunky And The O-Beast by Joseph R. Vivens available now!
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