Archive for March, 2014


Friday, March 21st, 2014

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle
Fun Flexibility

Bocci Ball

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Tonight, we finished dinner 30 minutes before the kid’s bedtime. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and it seemed like a bummer to stay in the house and do the never-ending dishes.

My son took out our Bocci ball kit and we started playing in the backyard. It was incredibly fun! While I was wondering how many steps I was racking up on my pedometer, my kids were running circles around me. I’m sure if I asked them to walk two miles they wouldn’t have, but running around after the ball in our very small back yard was something entirely different.Bocci Ball

Bocci ball made me think of the post I wrote called “Throw Something”.  It’s really similar except my game needs no special equipment. Bocci Ball is an actual official game.

However  tonight, there were almost no rules in our game. The first one who reached six points won. We tossed a white ball, then each of us took turns throwing our colored balls to see whose landed closest. For me, the point was to be outside, stretch my legs and have fun. For my kids, they were literally falling over laughing with their crazy ball rolls. They were so sweaty after 30 minutes they had to take a shower.

It really doesn’t take much to add fitness and family time together. When we play again (which my son declared would be every night),  I’ll add new rules, such as holding a squat in between my turns or lunging to pick up the balls. I could add three crazy running laps in the backyard between games. Actually, the kids did this automatically in excitement. Next time, I’ll promise to do it with them.

Incidentally, as a side note, we met two new neighbors as a result of playing. Any guesses why?

Parent Playground #1

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Currently, my kids are 5 and almost 7. They want to be picked up, carried, flung and thrown as much as ever.  When I sit them on top of my feet and “airplane” them like I did when they were just one-year old, they’d happily play until I couldn’t extend my legs anymore. I once played for 75 minutes —back and forth between them. I considered it my lower body workout for the day. When we finally stopped and I said I was going to make dinner, they begged me for more! I couldn’t believe it!

There is no end to the Parent Play Ground! Truly, no limits but your imagination and the stamina of everyone involved. Parent Play Ground

Here are some games to start the fun:

-Be the limbo stick. Let your child quickly crawl underneath you while you lower or rise up out of a push-up. It’s pretty hilarious to “squash” them.

-Play “parent push-over.” Sit on the floor, engage your abs and lean back a little bit. Have your kids try to push you backwards while you resist.  When they “win”, roll backwards and then roll up and start again.  Think of “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”.

Mom gives high five to infant while doing a plank-Try wheelbarrows together. 

-Be a bridge, in a plank on your back (hips lifted) and let the kids crawl under you and on top. Give them a ride as you raise and lower your hips, or do push-ups. Parent Play Ground

-Play “catch” and let them run toward you and leap into your arms. Feel free to swing them above your head or around in circles. I catch my kids mid torso rather than by their hands so I don’t hurt our wrists, elbows, shoulders and backs.

-Play “I’m gonna get you”  and then pick them up and kiss or tickle them. I can’t tell you how popular this is.

Stay tuned over the next few months for many games to play. I broke them into multiple posts so they’d be easier to digest, try and internalize. Be mindful of your back, wrists and neck while playing. It’s easy to get distracted playing with your kiddo and forget form. Oh, and don’t really squash your kid! Unless their tweens and up. Then it counts as wrestling (coming in parent playground #2).

Physical Chess

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

“Fencing is like playing chess with your body at 100 miles per hour. In competition, the only thing that moves faster than a fencing sword is a speeding bullet,”  explains Carla Corbit, the head coach for Caltech’s Fencing Club.

How cool is that? Physical chess!  Size up an opponent, develop a plan of “attack” with speed and high technique, and an intense game is played with such focus, it’s almost a meditation.Fencing

There are three traditional weapons in fencing (foil, épée and saber) as well as the gear to protect you. There are many places that teach fencing, and classes range in age from children to adults.

Recently, my kids went to a Star Wars birthday party and were taught to joust with a balloon light saber. Is this how it starts? Is Star Wars a modern version of fencing?

Pantomime or for real, fencing will get your heart rate up, your reflexes revived, your mind sharpened and your body strong. Give it a try and see if physical chess is for you.  At the very least, when you practice with your kid(s), you’ll crack up with laughter (which is my favorite way to work my “core”).