Get Up, Get Out, Get Moving!

Moms, we are getting a couch potato reputation. The most common things we do with our kids involve the kitchen table or the living room couch.

A recent survey shows the number one thing moms do with our kids is share a meal together. Watching TV came in second, and helping with homework was third. All great things to do with kids, but all sedentary. Moms – we don’t have to take this sitting down! We can change our reputation!

In Minnesota, we have a few precious weeks left before we have to hunker down for the winter. Why not make the most of fall by getting up, getting out and getting moving?

Make exercising as a family an adventure! Try out some of these fun fall activities:

Fall Harvest:

Picking apples and pumpkins is an activity the whole family can enjoy, and it’s a good way to get moving. There are several orchards and farms to choose from in the Twin Cities. Many also have playgrounds and petting zoos to keep the kids active.

Scavenger Hunt:

For a free option, set up your own scavenger hunt in your local park. Race the kids in finding things like fall leaves, pinecones, twigs shaped like a “Y”, dandelions, etc. Keep thinking of different items to find because the kids will want to play it again and again!

Obstacle Course:

You can set up an obstacle course in your own backyard; any toys you have in your garage will work great! We like to use a hoola hoop to jump through, baseball bats to jump over and bouncy balls to throw. This activity comes with a warning- kids love to make up their own obstacle courses, and they can be quite complicated!

Rake Leaves:

Who knew kids would find this fall chore so much fun? Get them some child-sized rakes, and kids will be happy to rake (and jump) for hours! As a bonus, you can get some good yard work done at the same time.

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If these ideas don’t excite you or your kids, keep it simple. Go for a walk, a run, a bike ride. Jump on a skateboard, roller skates, a pogo stick. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you’re doing something active!

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MomStrong

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When it comes to motherhood, being strong isn’t enough. It takes a special breed of person to deal with motherhood’s toughest challenges; you need to be MomStrong.*

How do you know if you’re MomStrong? If any of the examples below sound familiar, you’ve earned your badge.

Someone who’s strong can bench press their own weight.

Someone who’s MomStrong builds muscle by carrying groceries, making dinner and clearing the table with one hand because the other is busy holding a baby.

It takes someone strong to run a marathon.

It takes someone MomStrong to cover every inch of the State Fair while carrying a squirming, wiggling, 45 pound toddler.

You’re strong if you can stomach a gory movie.

You’re MomStrong if you can watch “Frozen” 46 times in one week and sing every word of “Let it Go” every time.

The strong don’t cry when they’re hurt.

The MomStrong push down their gag reflex while cleaning and bandaging the nastiest wounds on their kids.

Remember how strong you had to be to pull an all-nighter studying in college?

It’s nothing compared to being MomStrong and going 6 years without an uninterrupted night of sleep.

If you’re strong, you can watch the end of “Beaches” without crying.

But if you’re MomStrong, you can hold back the tears on your baby’s first day of daycare, kindergarten and college just long enough so they don’t see you lose it.

The MomStrong get up six times a night with an infant. They get up and stay up at 4:30am when their toddler won’t go back to bed. They have the patience to read the same book a dozen times in a row while making funny voices for each character. They have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Because, to their kids, they are the world.

So, the next time someone calls you strong for your motherhood feats, feel free to correct them. Tell them you’re MomStrong.

(*I’m not trying to exclude dads, who play a huge part in their children’s lives. Feel free to insert DadStrong anywhere it applies.)

Healthy Back-to-School

The countdown is on until the 2015 school year starts for most Minnesota kids. Here are some ways parents can help kids establish good habits right from the start! KSTP asked me to share my tips with their viewers. Click here to watch the interview. 

  1. Sleep Schedules
  2. Lunch Lessons

Click here for a cottage cheese dip recipe and other healthy lunch ideas

  1. Everyday Exercise

Check out these yoga poses the whole family can do:

The Butterfly Pose

Begin sitting with your spine straight and your legs “criss cross applesauce.”

Bring the bottoms of your feet to touch and bring your fingers up to your head.

Gently bounce your knees to flap your butterfly wings and move your fingers to wiggle your butterfly antennae.

3 Legged Dog Pose

Begin in downward dog.  

Lift one leg, hold, then lower with an exhale.

Repeat with the opposite leg.

Kite Pose

Begin in Star Pose.

Stand tall with your legs spread wide.

Reach your arms out to either side.

Keeping your neck and spine straight, tip your star to one side, balancing on one leg for as long as you can.

Return to star pose with both feet on the floor.

Tip your star to the other side and hold it with your leg firmly on the floor.

Crocodile Pose

Lie flat on the floor on your stomach.  

Your arms should be in front of you with your elbows just in front of your shoulders.  

Widen your legs so they are open and roll your feet so that your heels are pointed in and your entire leg is in contact with the floor.

Lift up your chest and bend your elbows to clash each elbow with the opposite palm.

Tuck your chin and gently rest your forehead on your arms.

Reposition your body if you need to.