Monday, August 27, 2012

Running (From?) With the Kids: Family Fitness

I want to raise active kids, not just for physical fitness but for mental fitness as well. I'm not one to over-schedule my boys with lessons and activities during their "free" time, but I think it's good for them to have things to do. It is really obvious when they are bored because they get grumpy, misbehave and fight with each other. What's interesting is that when this happens, it's because I'm too busy with laundry, doing bills, etc. and they are left to occupy themselves.

Sometimes my running buddy is not available to do our early morning runs on the weekend. That means I have to run during the day because I'm too afraid to run at dawn alone. Since my kids are awake,  they want to join me when they see me in my running gear.  That is my "me" time usually, but who can say no to two adorable little boys (especially 3 year-old Buddha who says, "I want to run Mama")? I have to admit Chip is a good sport about it. He tries to avoid running because both of his knees are pretty shot, but he accompanies us on these adventures. The reason being, my kids can only run a very short distance. I want to encourage them, so I bring them along. But once they tucker out, I can leave them behind with Chip and take off and "really" run. I actually get the best of both worlds: family time and me time. Even better, family fitness and burning a few hundred calories. Score!

This past summer I kept the boys fairly occupied with various camps, and I could definitely see a difference in them when they were not in an activity. There were only a couple weeks where they had absolutely nothing going on, but I can definitely say next summer that number will be zero if I can help it. They are happier when they have structure, somewhere to go and something to look forward to. I can't blame them, I was the same way when I was younger, I would get annoyed when I was bored. Of course, with working full-time and parenting two young boys that rarely happens anymore! But I totally get it still. And, there's nothing like getting the kids tired out so that they get a good night's sleep. They are growing boys after all!


  1. That works out pretty sweet! Love when there's both the family time and some time for myself as well. Sounds like it's good for your whole family! :>

  2. I love getting active with my kids too- they should see mommy exercise- it's a great example. I'm with you on activities. With kindergarten starting, I don't have Princess in anything bc I think it's too much. Boredom is bad, but stressed and overtired is worse. Oh the challenge of finding the perfect balance!

  3. I love having my older boy be active. Not only do I keep him moving but it doesn't help that he sleeps so much better at night too.

  4. I can remember thinking my boys needed to run 5 miles to get good and tired enough to be "chill" at home. Now they are grown and still like exercise. You're setting a precedent for future fitness. Great example.

  5. The days are getting shorter fast...running out of time, but lately I've been enjoying a post-dinner family run/bike around our neighborhood. It's definitely not my main exercise run, but it's a fun, healthy family activity.


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