Archive for December, 2012

Active Scavenger Hunt

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Partner two different teams together and create an active scavenger hunt. Instead of “find something”, “do something” and take an action photo or mini video to show you’ve completed the clue.

-Balance while walking across something (masking tape, sidewalk curb, tree limb, a line of pillows…use your imagination)

-Crawl under something on your back then front: a bed, sheet tunnel, couch fort, shrubs, low clothes line, etc.

-Jump on top of something (bed, ottoman, rock, pillow, etc.) in all different directions (up and down, sideways both directions) for a predetermined number of times.

-Lift something heavy 20 times over your head or just up and down, depending on what it is. For example lift each other up, a barbell, a dog/cat food bag, two bags of flour, a big rock, a huge ball of snow, etc.

-Hurdle over something. Line up six items spaced out well and leap over them three times, taking pictures each time – pillows, cans, plants, books, rocks,  snow mounds, etc.

-Stand for 1 minute on each foot before earning the final clue, or hold a plank position with good form for at least a minute

-Walk, run or sprint a certain distance in between each clue, as well as to your final challenge. Add in GPS coordinate destinations for an extra challenge.

– For fit players, make it half a mile or more between clues. For new exercisers, keep the game layout smaller, but play quicker.

There are scavenger hunt apps you can use to create an “official” game for parties, play dates and family events. Alternatively, just make a scavenger hunt list that each team competes to finish.  String together enough movements and your scavenger hunt becomes a fun and memorable workout!

Step On It

Friday, December 21st, 2012

There are so many ways to step up to healthy family time!

-Find a safe street curb or use a step in your house as in a staircase, backyard deck or garage. Compete by counting how many times you can step and/or  jump up and down on the curb, frontwards and sideways both directions. Try jumping with both feet, then with one. Do as many as you can until you don’t get lift off. Whoever lasts the longest wins!

-Alternatively, do the above for one song and see who gets the most  steps and/or jumps in. Write it down on a piece of paper and don’t show each other. Then do another song facing a different direction, count your jumps and write it down. At the end of three songs and three directions, compare totals. The person with the most jumps and/or who is the sweatiest wins.

-Play Monumental and see who reaches the top of their virtual monument first.

-Take a step aerobics class with your child, get a step video from the library, or invent your own dance routine on a step. Teach each other your step routine for a homemade class.

-Use a pedometer and compete to see who can take the most steps in a day.

-If you use the Nintendo Wii, use the Everlast 3” Aerobic Step, the CTA Digital Aerobics Step Platform, or any other step platform instead of the Wii Fit Balance Board. Stepping up and down to play will get your heart rate up higher than just the balance board.

Now step on it!

Holiday Games

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Holidays and exercise go together well. Movement doesn’t have to be complex. Simple games can start you moving, and changing them in small ways can make them feel new again. How?

-Instead of Simon Says, play Santa Claus Says or Judah Maccabee Says – “jump 20 times as high as you can.” Make the directions big motor movements that are continuous and have everyone do them at once. Smaller movements are fine too, but add balance challenges, like touch your head while standing on one foot.

-Reindeer, Reindeer, Rudolph or Happy, Happy, Chanukah can be played instead of Duck, Duck, Goose. However, do not just sit in a circle! For a slower paced game, everyone holds a plank position in a circle while the “tagger” lunges around the circle. For a faster, speedier game, everyone does jumping jacks or squats while the “tagger” jogs around the circle.

-Instead of “What time is it, Mr. Wolf/Fox?”, try “What time is it Mr. Snowman?”  Again, make the movements big. Rather than “it is three o’clock, take one step forward”, try “it is three o’clock, do three push-ups.”  Alternatively, do clock lunges for each time called and play for a set time frame rather than moving forward.

-While “Red Light, Green Light” (the game) are also Christmas colors, shout “holiday lights” and everyone  has to do something wild and crazy. If you are Jewish, play Blue Lights, White Lights and yell “Menorah lights” to get everyone to stop and dance the Horah. With “green/blue” lights, make the movements huge, or just sprint. At a “red/white light”, freeze and hold a squat or lunge.

-Similar to above, play “Santa/Judah Maccabee May I take three sideways jumps?” rather than “Mother May I?

-Play tag but yell out a holiday word to to stay “safe.”

-Tie the land of the silly walks together with holiday decorations. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Every time you get to a house with lights, change the way you travel to the next house. Running, sprinting, jogging, skipping, hopping, and jumping are a good place to start.

I’m room parent in my daughter’s classroom. Guess what we’re all playing during part her class holiday party next week?

Flying Saucers

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Yep, Frisbee® or any other type of disc. Such a simple, fun, easy to play way to improve your fitness level!

-Throw a frisbee back and forth standing on one foot. Get really creative and try freestyle disc throwing, doing athletic and acrobatic moves with a disc. Master your moves and start competing!

-Everyone throws discs at once for a little chaotic fun.

-Throw the disc while running. Person who drops it or stops moving earns a point for
the other player.

-Play Disc Golf at an official course, or set up your own cages (chairs, tree targets, buckets, etc.) to catch the disc.

-Use discs as sliders.

-Create a family-friendly ultimate Frisbee® league (like football) and play each other.

-If you don’t have enough people for ultimate, try playing hot box.

-Instead of dodgeball, play dodge disc using a disc instead of balls.

-Make up your own disc games and rules. If you challenge your kids to come up with a better game than their parents, they will.  Then play, repeat, have fun and watch your stamina grow.

The Original PlayStation

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012