[photopress:Liam.jpg,thumb,pp_style]by Danielle Ellis
Exercise is always on my to-do list. Yet with four young children and a hectic schedule, exercise seems to always get crowded out of my schedule. A few months ago I decided to do something about it.
I wrote down all the “to do” items that I felt needed more attention. Then I got creative and found a way to combine them into one activity, saving time and making them more fun. Some of the items on my list were as follows:
• Spend more time interacting with each child
• Get more exercise
• Help kids develop new skills
• Help 4-year-old with letters and counting
• Improve discipline with the kids
Following are a few of our solutions:
When the big girls are at school, I get on the trampoline with the little kids and we say the A-B-C’s while we jump. Then we do twenty jumping jacks (or whatever creative jumps my son wants to do) while we count from one to twenty. Then we stretch while we count. Usually, I let my son be in charge of the activity. I have discovered he is much more willing to listen and take direction from me when I take turns doing the same thing with him.
When the big girls come home, I now walk to the bus stop, pushing my daughter in the stroller. My son rides his bike. On the way home, I get to hear about the girls’ days as we walk.
We also have started riding our bikes to the park. This has turned out to be a totally new experience, offering a different view (the bike path, which often has jackrabbits and birds) and satisfaction (from the workout on the hills, and knowing that we are not completely dependant on the car).
Although everyone else’s problems and solutions will be different from mine, try the experiment! See what you can combine to make exercise an integral part of your routine rather than something “extra” that may get dropped in the hustle of the day.