Fit Kids for Summer Series: 5 Ideas to Help You Lead by Example

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Today is the last day of our Fit Kids for Summer Series! Have you enjoyed it? Drop us a comment and let us know what your favorite post was, or share on our Facebook page a picture of you and your kids getting fit together!

Today I’m going to share with you my ideas on how to lead your kids toward a healthier lifestyle by your own example. But first, here are the links to all of the posts from our awesome series. Many thanks go out to our awesome guests who contributed!

Summer Bucket List from Hillary

10 Exercises from Your Childhood from Andie at Maybe I Will

Proper Nutrition for Your Kids from Evi at Eyeliners and Erasers

25 Ideas to Keep the Kids Active from Samantha at Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Summer Explorers from Michelle at My Two Seasons and Love That Shot

5 Ideas to Help You Lead by Example by Kandice


If you are anything like me, a large part of your summer turns into “go do this” and “go do that”, rather than “let’s do this” or “let’s do that.”  As parents, many of us tend to follow the saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” We say we want our kids to be fit and healthy, but we don’t lead by example. Even those who are trying to become more fit and workout, we tend to do it either away from the kids at a gym, or after the kids are in bed (or before they wake up) so we don’t have to deal with them climbing all over us and taking our attention away from the workout. For a lot of moms, working out is not only our stress reliever, but our chance to have some peace and quiet!

ImageI won’t lie, I’m guilty of the same thing. However, there are plenty of times where I don’t get the workout done in the morning and I know I won’t have time in the evening, so I have to squeeze it in during the day. I end up with toddlers climbing over or under me and big kids crowding into my little space to do the workouts with me.

But you know what? Wow! What an amazing thing to see your kids get off the couch and do a workout with you! My seven-year-old son had more than once done enough of one of our workouts to actually be sweating and breathing heavily.

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My eight year old daughter (notoriously lazy like her mama) loves to do her own workout when she has the living room to herself, and she will do the entire 40 minute Tony and the Kids program. The whole thing! Smiling the whole time.

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My four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son can do a MEAN downward dog. 😉

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So here are a few ideas to help you teach your children to live a more fit lifestyle…leading by example!

5 Ideas to Help You Lead by Example

1) Let them join your workouts! Make workout time a family event by clearing space and bringing the kids in the room with you. Yeah, yeah, you don’t have enough space. You should see my living room. 😉 Shove the couches into the kitchen (yes, I’ve done it!) and just make room for the kids. No, it won’t be the best workout you’ve ever had, and yes, you might decide to get in an extra, more intense workout after bedtime. But your kids will be seeing you put exercise at the top of your list of priorities, and they will be doing the same. When your son invite a friend over and talks him into doing P90X rather than playing with Legos, you’ll know it’s working. 😉

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2) USE your kids in your workouts! My husband will often have whichever kid is closest to him help push him deeper into a stretch. Occasionally, he’ll grab somebody and bench press them rather than using the weights. Hilarity ensues every time. For myself, I usually have my kids grab the camera so I have something new to post for my followers.

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3) Share! Many who are working on becoming more fit are also incorporating healthy products into their nutrition. For me, it’s Shakeology, and my kids LOVE these shakes! My two-year-old will come running through the house if he heard the blender going, and he won’t give me a moment’s peace until I either share with him or make him one of his own.

How many of you buy protein shakes? Granola bars or fresh produce? And how many of you hoard the healthy stuff and give the cheap food to the kids? Yes, healthy food can sometimes be more expensive. But is that little extra bit out of your grocery budget really worth the bad habits you’re teaching your kids? If they are raised on cold cereal and boxed dinners, they’re going to grow up loving that type of food and find it very difficult to change their eating habits when their metabolism finally slows. Teach them the healthy habits now while they’re willing and you’ll reap the rewards later.

 

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4) Challenge them! When you’re out and enjoying other activities, challenge the kids occasionally to what we call “Feats of Strength.” Randomly call out that you want them to do ten push-ups or twenty jumping jacks. Or ask who can do the most jumping jacks in a minute. See who can hold a plank longer or do the best Warrior 3 pose. Ask them to show you their muscles after a workout or Feat of Strength and be sure to praise them for all their hard work.

We like to go for hikes or walks as a family, and sometimes just with friends. Our oldest son likes to be the leader and he likes to lead…from a distance. 🙂 He’s fast and has no patience waiting for the little ones to keep pace. If he’s getting too far ahead of the  group, we’ll call out to him to drop and give us ten, do twenty jumping jacks, or something similar. It’s always enough to get a little of that energy out while we’re all catching up, so that he’s better able to stick to our pace for a few minutes. All the while, he feels like The Man, and we’re sure to tell him that he is indeed The Man. 🙂

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5) Local events. There are so many local events that can help you keep your kids active! Are you a runner? Take your older kids with you for a 5K, even a color run if you can! My son was SO excited when I let him join me for this run, and he was a rockstar! He started out strong and was mad that I wouldn’t let him go ahead of me. About halfway through he just wanted to be done, but we pushed through together. He was so tired, but he kept going. When we got to the end, there were crowds of people lining the path, cheering on the runners. I told him “Look at all those people cheering for you! Let’s finish it strong and give them something to cheer about.” He immediately picked up the pace and ran the last few hundred yards, with tons of people reaching out to high-five him and tell him how awesome he was. What an amazing experience for a young boy! To have so many people apparently adoring you for your strength…he’s already begging me for another.

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There you have it. Hopefully, you’ll agree that letting the kids see you workout is something that will benefit them for a long time to come. It doesn’t matter one bit if your own fitness goals are slowed a little by the children. What you will be measuring is their own talent, skill, self-confidence, and health. And they will indeed amaze you and everyone around them with their dedication and enthusiasm, which in turn will encourage you to continue with your own workouts. Now, get off the computer and go workout!

*If you would like to know more about the workout program I show above called Tony and the Kids, click on the image for more information. Another program is also available for kids called Shaun T’s Fit Kids Club. This one is awesome too, with Shaun T teaching the kids how to dance (and getting their exercise in the meantime). Email us at fitmama.fitfamily@gmail.com for more information!

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Fit Kids for Summer Series: Summer Explorers

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Our Fit Kids for Summer series is winding down. Haven’t you LOVED all these awesome ideas? This will be our last guest post, and next week you’re back to hearing from little old me. 😉

Today’s guest is the lovely Michelle from My Two Seasons and Love That Shot. If you haven’t found her pages yet, go check them out!


I love this time of year… Longer evenings, warmer weather, kids ready to de-stress from school. One of our family’s favorite things to do in the summertime is to go exploring! It is such a great activity on many levels:

  • It gets you moving. Exploring is no fun sitting on your bum!
  • Exploring engages your brain. You’re constantly taking in new information.
  • You learn cool things!

Summer Explorers - 7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active and Learning
Here are some of our favorite ways to explore as a family…

1. Go Rock Collecting

My girls love finding pretty rocks. It doesn’t matter where we are, if they see a rock, they want to pick it up and take it home! Going on a hike in the foothills or on a walk along the river are great places to discover interesting rocks. Bonus, it’s great exercise with all the walking, bending, squatting, and carrying rocks!
Summer Explorers Idea 1- Go Rock Collecting

2. Go on a Nature Walk

Spending time in nature is great for your health. The fresh, clean air refreshes your mind and body. Make a game out of your nature walk; bring a list of things to find and discover. It keeps the walk interesting and helps to hold your child’s interest. My girls love to look for wildlife on our nature walks. We’ve stumbled across squirrels, birds, rabbits, and even deer on some of our walks!
Summer Explorers Idea 2 - Go on a Nature Walk

3. Take a Photo Walk or Hike

This is another great way to keep things interesting and your child engaged on your explorations! We love to bring our cameras and find neat things to photograph. My girls often find things they want to take home and keep, but we try to teach them to leave nature how they found it so that everyone can enjoy what they see. A great alternative is to have them take pictures of the things they find, then they can take the memory of what they discovered home with them and it will last forever!
Summer Explorers Idea 3 - Take a Photo Walk or Hike

4. Take a Walk on a Greenbelt

You don’t have to drive far to be in nature. Many cities and towns have nature paths or greenbelts running through them. We love to take an evening stroll through the greenbelt. It’s so relaxing and often we can’t even tell we’re in the middle of our city. Sometimes we’ll grab our bikes and take a ride on the trails in the greenbelt. It’s amazing the things you can discover there too. We’ve even come across horses!
Summer Explorers Idea 4 - Take a Walk on a Greenbelt

5. Visit a Natural History Site

Another great way to explore is to visit natural history site in your area. They usually have trails through the sites you can walk on or hike through. We love to learn about our state’s history and get hands on, and “feet on” experience! Go to your state’s website and look up “State Parks” or “National Parks” to find natural history sites in your area.
Summer Explorers Idea 5 - Visit a Natural History Site

6. Take a Hike

Hiking is excellent exercise. It can be a physically and mentally demanding experience for your kids, but when they arrive at their destination it’s amazing to see the pride and sense of accomplishment they feel! You can also find hiking trails in your area on your state’s website.
Summer Explorers Idea 6 - Take a Hike

7. Discover New Places

My family loves to discover new places we’ve never been to before. Some of our most fun times together as a family have been hiking through a forest or along a river we’ve never seen. Sometimes the vegetation and wildlife is different from what we see in the area right where we live. If you’re out on vacation this summer, plan a little hike somewhere along the way. You just might have a great time and it’s a great way for your kids to burn off a little energy!
Summer Explorers Idea 7 - Discover New Places
I hope these ideas inspire you to get out with your kids this summer and do some exploring! Getting out together and being active as a family is an excellent way to help instill good fitness habits in your children. Exploring has become one of family’s favorite things to do and we’ve created so many wonderful memories over the years. So get out there and have some fun!

Fit Kids for Summer Series: 25 Ideas to Keep the Kids Active

Hey everyone, happy Friday! Is anyone else as ridiculously excited and relieved as I am that the weekend is finally here?! Whoop! We are continuing our Fit Kids for Summer series today, and you’re going to love today’s post.

Our guest today is Samantha from Fearlessly Creative Mamas. Her blog is chock full of recipes,  crafts, and other fun stuff, so if you haven’t visited it yet you should head over now!  Oh wait…not NOW now, but LATER now, after you’ve read her post below! 😉 Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite new idea so far in the series! -Kandice


I am sooo HAPPY that school is finally out for summer break. I think I have been counting down the days since like Christmas! I’m sure I will be happy for it to start back up by the time September rolls around though.

Me and the crazy kiddos!

I love summer. It is my favorite season and we are so busy in summer. I have come up with a great list of activities to keep you and your kids active this summer, hopefully you won’t hear the word bored as much! 🙂

1. Play hopscotch. It will keep your kids moving, and it’s a great way to keep them practicing writing their numbers and counting.

2. Jump on the trampoline. If you don’t have one, check out the local Ijump. It is a great way for the kids to burn off some extra energy.

3. Try to keep using electronics to a minimum. My kids will be hard to talk into this, but I keep reminding them, we only get a few months of nice weather, so get outside and enjoy it!

4. Take them on bike rides. Even if you don’t ride a bike, you can walk or jog along side.

5. Go on nature hikes. This would be a great way to teach them about different kinds of tree and animals.

6. Have races with them in the backyard. Winner gets to pick where you have ice cream that night.

7. Jump rope. They have jump ropes at Walmart in the kids department by the hoola hoops for 97 cents!

8. Make treats together, like cookies, and while they’re cooking, do a quick workout together; jumping jacks, push ups, etc. My kids love to do workouts with me, even if they don’t do it exactly right.

9. Run through the sprinklers, or get a slip and slide. Those things are so fun and will wear the kids right out!

10. Take them to Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Leo’s, or somewhere else with a play place, and let them go crazy!

11. Do yoga together. They might show you up since little kids are so flexible, but it’s fun to watch at least 🙂

12. Take them to a near by park to play.

13. Make a circuit in the backyard with different stations. So like the first one do 20 jump ropes, the second dribble a ball 10 times, etc.

14. If you have a Radio Flyer wagon, have them give each other rides with it across the yard.

15. Have a scavenger hunt in the backyard.

16. Play Mother May I? Did you play that when you were little? I really liked it!

17. Have your kids help you do yard work, even just pulling weeds.

18. If your kids are giving you grief about limiting electronics, like I know my kids will, then require a certain amount of other activities. Like play outside for an hour, or if they have chores to do first.

19. Go swimming. This is one of our favorite family activities in the summer. We like to go to Rexburg Rapids, Ross Park, Lava Hot Springs, Heise, and this year we going to Rigby Lake for the first time.

20. Go skating. We haven’t braved it yet since our kids are kind of young still, but it will happen soon. Starlight Skating is where I liked to go when I was little.

21. Go bowling. Bowlero is our favorite place in town.

22. Summer sports are a great way to keep your kids active in the summer. The YMCA has great programs.

23. The Paramount Theater has a great summer movie program, and they are so inexpensive!

24. Do a 5k with the family. They have tons in the summer! So far we have done the Color Run, and we have registered for the Neon Vibe, but I have heard about a really cool super hero one that I want to look into, and I know there is another one on the 4th of July that sounds like a lot of fun too!

25. Go camping! So much fun and so much to do!!

I hope this list has given you some great ideas to keep your summer fun and hopefully not hear “I’m bored” so much! 🙂

Posted by Samantha

Exercise is fun to do

The birds are chirping, the grass is getting green and the days are longer. Spring is here, for the most part, where I live. It’s about time.  Although I probably should be on alert for the occasional snowstorm that could blow through at any given moment! Anyway, there isn’t anything better than a beautiful evening when you can spend some time outside with your family. Winters around here bring plenty of tv and video game time, so the fresh air and beautiful scenery are a welcome guest!

This past week I have tried to take advantage of every possible nice evening and get out with my kids. They need it and love it just as much as I do!

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Luckily, I have three boys who all love to be active and be outside. It’s pretty easy for me, most days, to suggest going for a bike ride or a run and they jump right on it! Something that has been fun for all of us is having my older boys ride their bikes while I run with my baby in the jogging stroller. It’s not strenuous and crazy for anyone. We just go for a leisurely run/ride and enjoy the evening together.

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We have so much fun together and it brings us closer as a family. I would suggest finding something that you and your kids can enjoy together! We all know how miserable it can be when you are dragging them along and they are hating every.single.minute. I will be changing it up in the near future, I’m sure, because the bike rides/runs won’t be nearly as exciting for my boys. They will be ready for something new and I’m okay with that.

I would love to hear what fun and active things you do as a family! How can we incorporate exercise into their loves without them even really realizing that’s what they are getting?