September marks Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Did you know that 30 percent of children in America are overweight? This year marks the sixth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which has partnered with parents, community leaders, and professionals across the public and private sectors to encourage and expand access to the physical activities and nutritious foods that help our kids grow up healthy.
The question is, where do we start when it comes to instilling healthy habits with our kids?
Alana Chapman, franchise owner and instructor of Fit4Mom, stays it’s never too early. “The earlier you start, the more likely these habits will easily carry on into adulthood,” she said.
Fit4Mom, a stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with little ones, is a great way to get your kids exposed to exercise. Each 60-minute, total-body workout incorporates power walking, strength, toning, songs and activities.
“We have moms with children as young as four to five weeks old working out WITH their babies,” she said.
No, this doesn’t mean that their five week olds are exercising, or that they are overweight.
“What this is doing is leading my example at an early age,” said Alana. “Once they get a little bit older, they will start mimicking you by doing burpees as a new walker down the hallway.”
Alana develops her exercise plans to encourage an ongoing mother/child connection throughout the hour. Moms have motivation right in front of them every time they come up for tickle toes after a sit up, and baby is engaged with some good old peek-a-boo.
“It’s inspiring to me and even other moms in the group when we see a mom holding their plank for an entire minute for the first time because we can see the motivation sitting right there in front of them in the stroller.”
Alana continues to explain that exercising in front of your kids is a great teaching moment too by showing your child not to give up when things get a little tough.
Alana emphasizes not to look at exercise as a chore. “Make exercise family time,” she says. She was gracious enough to share some ideas on ways to make exercising fun for the whole family.
5 Ways to Exercise as a Family
- Take a Walk. Make it part of your daily routine to get the kids out with you for a walk around the neighborhood. It can be before or after dinner and it doesn’t have to be long to count.
- Make an Obstacle Course. Is your bunch competitive? Grab things out of the garage and create an obstacle course in your yard. Jump rope, hop in and out of hula hoops, sprint to the furthest tree and back again. Time yourselves or challenge each other. Get sweaty, have fun and make memories.
- Support a Cause. Sign your family up as a team for a family fun run or 5K walk. t’s a teachable moment to support your favorite charity AND get
- Boogie Down. Turn up the music and create a dance party. Perfect for a cold or rainy day.
- Strike a Pose. f the wilds aren’t for you, stay inside and stretch. Family yoga is huge now — and that means your options are, too.
Fit4Mom offers a free first week of classes for those who are interested in coming to see what it’s all about! Sign up today at http://houston.fit4mom.com.