Archive for January, 2013

Build our Youth

Monday, January 28th, 2013

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Rope Like You’ve Never Jumped

Friday, January 25th, 2013

There are SO many jump rope options!

-Regular two-foot jumping: over the rope in place

-One foot at a time, finding a rhythm such as “right, left, right, right, left, left”, repeat

-Moving jumps: frontwards, backwards, sideways, leaping forward as you jump

-Ski jumps: side to side, front to back, open and closed legs, crossed and open legs, cross country ski jumps, turning jumps, backwards jumps, Gangnam-style jumps – just ’cause it’s hilarious

-Swinging the rope around your body in different motions, patterns and speeds like a dance ribbon

-Single swing: with a short rope, tie the rope in a loop around one ankle, and swing it around your body, jumping over it as you go

-Double dutch: two people swing two long ropes in opposite directions as one person jumps in or runs through

-Using a jump rope as a limbo rope or low wiggling rope to jump over

-Can you jump at the same time as someone else? Two ways – either simultaneously, as reflections of each other, or just one rope – with one person turning but two or three people jumping inside?

-Jump competitions: Who can jump for the longest without stopping? Who can do the trickiest jump for the longest? Who can invent a new jump? Can you jump rope dance to a whole song? Who can jump the fastest? The slowest?  Try jumping low (like a squat) and slow and see how long your legs last. Can you jump with your eyes closed? Can you jump with two, three…ten ropes at once?

-Want to be motivated, inspired and awed all at once? Checkout USA Jump Rope and watch the videos of international jump rope competitions

Try the ten plus variations above for just two minutes each and you’ll have had at least 20 minutes of super cardiovascular challenge!

Leg Wrestle

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Ok, you’re not actually wrestling. You’re sitting opposite your teen, partner or friend using your body weight as resistance, not letting him/her move your legs.

-Sit face to face with your legs on the inside, your partner’s legs on the outside. At the same time, you push out, they squeeze in. See if you can keep constant resistance so your legs don’t move. If you are feeling strong, lift your arms above your head and lean back slightly (you don’t want to feel pain in your lower back while doing this, or anything!)  Feel your abs engage? Feel your outer thighs as you push out? Your inner thighs as you squeeze in? Good. Are you laughing? Probably.

-Now switch. You have your legs on the outside, your partner’s on the inside. You squeeze in, they push out. Lift your arms above your head and slightly lean back. Keep resisting until your legs shake and then hold it some more.

-Repeat above in both positions, but this time with straight legs rather than slightly bent. By the end of four rounds, you should feel new muscles in your inner and outer thighs, as well as your glutes that you haven’t felt before. Plus your abs will be exhausted from leaning back, depending on how competitive you are.

-Next time you play, try the same as above but change it slightly. Rather than keeping your legs in one static position, keep constant resistance but let your legs move in or out.  Still lean back to engage your abs. It’s hard to be super strong when laughing; nevertheless keep laughing. It’s funny, and very effective too.


Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

At the very least, read the first chapter about what happened to children who worked out before school.

Put Your Feet Up

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Really. Lie on the floor next to your child and put your feet or calves up on a chair or the couch. Take a few deep breaths, turn on your abs for support and lift your hips up and down. If you want to feel your hamstrings even more, pick up one leg and raise and lower your hips as your extended leg moves in concert with your hips. Now switch legs.

With a child or teen next to you doing the same things, keep your hips moving up and down, but lift your arms in the air while you do it. Want it harder still? Close your eyes. Who can lift their hips the most number of times? For the longest?

Keeping your feet up, rest your hips on the floor but lift your chest up and touch the chair side to side. Feel your obliques? Keep going, relax your throat and see who can get the highest number of side-to-side hand taps. What about up and down? Can you touch the middle of the chair with your feet still up on it? How many times?

If you are holding your baby on your hips, raise and lower your hips but change the tempo instead of taking a leg off the chair. Keep your hips as high as you can and hold until your hamstrings shake or you are done singing “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Bring your knees in and out while your hips are off the floor. You do not want to feel this in your lower back!

Drop your hips to the floor but keep your feet up. Play peek-a-boo with your baby as he/she straddles your hips and you sneak tickles in as you move side to side.

Now enjoy laying with your feet up and just breathe. Appreciate the simple things – like the floor supporting your back, your growing strength as you exercise, and the time you have made to play with your child.

President’s Challenge

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Some people start the New Year with a resolution. How about a family resolution to move more? How about one that has you exercise five days a week for six weeks, and then your family (especially your kid(s)!) will earn an award from First Lady Michelle Obama?  Think about it – start now and by Valentine’s Day you’ll all have healthier hearts! Plus, you’ll have six weeks under your belt of improved habits, which will make it much easier to keep up the momentum.

It’s easy! Sign up here and print the activity log or do it online. You can also start a group, so family and friends anywhere can do it with you. You can all watch your progress together, or compare yourself to others who are taking the President’s Challenge.

While you’re registering, explore the Let’s Move website for some great ways to raise healthy kids. You can apply these ideas to everyone in your house, not just your children. Kids move, you move, everyone eats healthier together, and you create a happier, healthier household. Now that’s a happy New Year!

Side Plank Play

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013