Disclosure: I'm a sponsored Align Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
Getting kids moving isn't as easy as it used to be. That's what I mean when I bring up spring training for families--ways to get the entire family into healthy habits. Spring is a great time to put some new ideas into motion to encourage more family time and more time outdoors.
I'm hesitant to add more things onto my already packed calendar. My ideas aren't to sign your kids up for more classes and to add expense and schedule stress--these ideas are family fun and easy to put into place, most of the "spring training" can happen on weekends and won't cost you ANY money.
Spring Training for Families: Five Healthy Tips
Plan a hike/campout: I'm not talking about hiking the Appalachian Trail(but good for you if you take that one, I'm talking about looking into the local trails right in your neighborhood. Scout out a nature walk in your city or town and set out for an adventure. They key is the enticement of the tent on the other end of the hike. Did you know that outfitters like REI will rent you a tent for a weekend? For city parents or parents trying to cut down on STUFF this is key. You get the fun of tent camping in your yard (or on your roof in our case) without having to buy a tent. We recently did this at my brother's house in Northern Virginia and it was a HUGE hit.
Jump rope or hula hoop: Lots of exercise feels and looks too much like work for little kids. Not so with these two easy toys. I keep a hula hoop and jump ropes on hand for all our trips to the park. It's amazing the games the kids can think up with these two classic toys. The best part? Watching grown-ups get in on the fun. I dare you to NOT giggle when you give a hula hoop a whirl.
Ride your bikes: This is a time-old tradition. Getting the bikes out and finding a flat tire. This weekend give the bikes a good once over and pump up the tires and then join the kids for a spin. In Brooklyn, we have a great waterfront path that's wide and safe. Plus I don't have to keep adult bikes in the city. Citibike solves that problem (hourly/daily bike rentals). If you are traveling to a city with a bike rental, plan a day on wheels. Here's a list of 10 cities with bikeshare programs.
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Sign up for a 5K: This might be my most ambitious plan I've put into motion this spring. I signed the family up for a springtime 5K in Brooklyn. While we might not all end up running the whole 3.1 miles, we are training with that as a goal. Guess what? It's really gotten us moving. I've figured out the way to get my tween into running, now I am working with my grade-schooler. I tell my 9 year old stories as we run and then break up the training into mini-sessions. Find a race near you using the http://www.active.com/running race finder. Many even have 1mile options for really little kids. You might even pick a cause and raise some money along the way.
Eat outdoors: Sure, I love a picnic as much as the next guy, but it's also my secret weapon to getting my kids to move. Picnics involve walking to scenic spots (or in our case walking up the stairs to take in the view) and they also involve portion control. There's no extra snacking involved with a picnic--if you didn't pack it, it can't get eaten. I find I have tremendous success getting my kids to eat salad and veggies in an outdoor setting. Turns out, broccoli is more fun to eat on a blanket. Who knew? Another tip for keeping the kids on the right track is including Align Jr. in the routine to help promote their digestive health.*
Align is the #1 Doctor and Gastroenterologist recommended probiotic brand‡ and it's easy to add to our daily breakfast routine.
Seasonal changes can be great—like spending more time outside with the kids, and they can also require us to check in on our gut health. Taking Align Jr. can help fortify your digestive system with a unique healthy bacteria 24/7.§*
Align partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Align believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Align’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
§Fortifies your digestive system with healthy bacteria 24/7 with continued daily use.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.