One of the keys to encouraging children to develop the healthy habit of regular exercise is to make fitness a priority in the home. With cooler weather and changing scenery to enjoy, autumn can be an ideal time to try new outdoor activities.
The great news is that there are many ways to lead an active lifestyle suitable for family members of all ages. Let these three ideas help you turn each day into an opportunity to get fit and have fun together.
1. Go for a walk: Over the spring and summer, families across the nation returned to a simpler form of exercise while connecting with loved ones: walking. Walking offers various physical and mental health benefits while helping you reach your fitness goals. You can enjoy a stroll almost anywhere while maintaining social distancing best practices. The pace can be as challenging or leisurely as you desire, and everyone in the entire family can participate.
2. Play catch: While you may not be scheduling a flag football game with the neighbors and extended family this holiday season, football provides plenty of opportunities for your household to be active together. Teaching your children how to throw and catch a football can give you time to bond over the sport while providing them with added confidence. A game of catch can easily turn into a hobby that continues as they get older.
3. Embrace your inner child: Get creative and consider activities you enjoyed as a child. Grab some chalk and play a game of hopscotch, dig in the closet to uncover your long-lost pair of roller skates, or get your balance back by honing your skills on a skateboard on a flat patch of pavement in the neighborhood or at the local park.
As with any workout, it’s essential to have the proper gear, starting with footwear. According to Laryssa Grant, children’s buyer for national footwear retailer, Rack Room Shoes, staying on-trend and comfortable while moving with the family is as easy as ever. Name brands such as Nike, adidas and Vans offer style, comfort and durability in adult and children’s sizing, ensuring athletic footwear options for the entire family. Visit rackroomshoes.com to enjoy online shopping or curbside pickup options for all your family’s athletic footwear needs.
With new gear, a great attitude and some creativity, getting fit as a family can be a fun way to make memories this fall.
In the not-so-distant past, extended families were the norm, with multiple generations residing on the same street if not in the same house. Today the family unit is largely an amalgam of different situations. The rise of two-income families has pressured parents into finding childcare situations. Quite often grandparents once again step in to offer guidance and support for youngsters. This can be a good thing for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. Although a bevy of psychological research focuses on parent-child relationships, new evidence points to the benefits of the grandchild-grandparent relationship as well. Close relationships between these different demographics is often a sign of strong familial ties.
A study from researchers at Boston College discovered that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups. Research at the University of Oxford among English children between the ages 11 and 16 found that close grandparent-grandchild relationships were associated with benefits including fewer emotional and behavioral problems and fewer difficulties with peers. Adult and grandchildren alike benefit from relationships with their elders. Grandparents can provide a connection and exposure to different ideas while providing a link to family history and knowledge regarding traditions and customs not readily available elsewhere. Nurturing grandparent-grandchild experiences may be easy for families where grandparents live in the same house or close by. For others, it may take some effort. The following are some ways to facilitate time spent together.
• Schedule regular family reunions or get-togethers. Host or plan multi-generation events that bring the family together and expose children to various members of their family.
• Promote one-on-one time. Have grandchildren spend time with grandparents in intimate settings. Alone time can be good for both and offers each undivided attention. A meal at a restaurant or time spent doing a puzzle or craft can be interesting to both generations involved.
• Video chat when possible. If distance makes frequent visits challenging, use technology to bridge that gap. Send photos, letters and electronic communications. Tech-savvy grandparents can use Skype or Facetime to stay in touch and speak one-on-one with their grandchildren.
• Share skills with each other. Either generation can play teacher to the other. Grandparents may have certain skills, such as baking, sewing or wood crafts, they can impart that may not be readily taught today. Children can help grandparents navigate computers, video games or sports activities.
Grandchildren can help grandparents feel younger, and grandchildren can learn new experiences from their grandparents
Thanks to finicky eating habits and limited choices, many children are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need to grow up healthy! Although many foods are fortified with certain vitamins, they still may not be enough to provide the level of nutrition required for a growing body. Parents may be well informed of a child’s needs of vitamin C to boost immune system function, but they may not be as readily informed about other vitamins that are essential to human health.
* Vitamin A: Vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system and proper eyesight function. A child lacking in vitamin A may be tired and weak and experience weight loss. Other symptoms include dry eyes, skin scaling and respiratory infections.
* Vitamin B6: Hyperactivity and impulsiveness are often blamed on an underlying medical condition, such as ADHD. But such conditions may be the result of a deficiency in vitamin B6.
* Vitamin B12: Nervous system function is largely governed by proper levels of vitamin B12. Children who do not receive enough vitamin B12 may experience weakness, insomnia, edema, and abdominal pain.
* Vitamin D: Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in the body after exposure to the sun. Children who spend many hours indoors or wearing thick layers of sunscreen may not get enough vitamin D. Irritability, muscle cramps and even late teething could be tied to vitamin D deficiency.
Parents should consult with pediatricians about the proper levels of vitamins children need.
Local Pediatrician Links:
*Keystone Pediatrics, Chambersburg “Keystone Health is a full-service, family-centered, primary care facility providing quality, affordable, accessible health care.”
*Antietam Pediatrics, Hagerstown “At Antietam Pediatric and Adolescent Care, our primary goal is to ensure healthier lifestyles for the pediatric and adolescent populations. Responding to the needs of patients and their families is our highest priority.”
*The Children’s Doctor , Hagerstown/Boonsboro “Our entire team is dedicated to helping you and your child feel at home from the moment your walk through the door. We’re proud to be members of the Hagerstown community and serve the needs of their children.”