This month our family focus is on physical activity. The American Heart Association recommends that children get one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. I don’t know about your family but there are some (lazy) days when my girls don’t get anywhere near that much. I do try to encourage my girls to be more active and I recommend physical activities whenever I hear the dreaded, “I’m so bored!” Most days I am successful at it but like anything else in life, there is always room for improvement.
I believe that it is important to instill a love and a desire for physical activity at a young age–it’s one of the reasons that I started a homeschool girls running group. Obesity levels amongst America’s children are skyrocketing and lack of exercise is a partly to blame. Did you know that the percentage of overweight children ages 6-11 has increased 300 percent in the last 25 years? And you’ve probably heard the statistic that for the first time our generation of children has a shorter life expectancy than their parents. I’m hoping that my children don’t make that statistic a reality. I want them to live long, happy and healthy lives and I know that this time I have with them while they are little is crucial for teaching them good lifelong habits.
I try to get 30 minutes of exercise with the girls at least three days a week. Some of the things we do are : walking to the park, running, playing the Wii, jumping on the trampoline, jumping rope, playing tag, playing basketball, playing tennis and riding our bikes. My goals for this month are:
- Go on an active, fun, family outing at least twice this month. Ideas I have for this are: geocaching, hiking, skating, and bowling. We’re also planning a trip to Busch Gardens where we will be getting in a ton of walking!
- Teach the girls the basics of at least two sports. We’re not a very sports oriented family (other than running!) and my girls are pretty clueless about soccer, baseball, volleyball, basketball and football! I think it’s time we at least teach them how to hit a softball!
- Family Mile Challenge. I’m going to start a chart and keep track of how many miles we collectively run/walk/ride our bikes this month. As we reach certain numbers the girls will earn prizes (preferably non-food items like new water bottles, a new ball, etc).