Staying active as a family – 5 dad-approved activities

Sponsored postBy Tyler, editor and reviewer

We don’t get to a gym much these days. As much as I would love to blame gym prices or the fact that we don’t have much time for gym workouts, the truth is that we’re not really gym people. We want to be, we really do. But, we like to go new places and explore different areas around us too much to spend our free time in one room or running a specific path. Our gym now happens in backyards, on playgrounds, and at parks, for better or for worse.

Recently we’ve been taking advantage of all this gorgeous sunshine and warm weather to get outside with the kids as much as possible. But, all of this getting out and walking means that we’ve exhausted all the parks near us and our need to explore new places starts creeping in. There are only so many times I can stand on the edge of the neighborhood park or in our backyard and cheer them on while they show me that they can go down the slide… again. These two adults? We want to move and play, too.  Hubby and IClearly, our evening routine needed a shake-up if we’re going to get serious about getting healthier, so I took it upon myself to make up a list of games for the family that are fun for everyone and get us all moving.

This begins our new series: “Get Out and Play”. For our first week, I’m going to focus on things you can do with your kids right at home or nearby that you don’t need fancy equipment for.

5 Dad-approved activities for kids and adults:

1)    Hopscotch. Draw one with chalk, use stepping stones, hula hoops or visit a local school where they are bound to have a hopscotch game stenciled on the ground. It’s great exercise hopping from square to square or hoop to hoop, it gives little ones a chance to learn their numbers, and it’s great for preschoolers learning balance and coordination. Hopping in Gymboree
2)    Adventurers. Remember those games you used to play when you were young where the blacktop was hot lava and the pebbles were a raging river? We play our own spin on this where we draw a primitive map that we follow to escape dinosaurs {aka trees} that we pretend are roaming around our neighborhood. I have no idea why the kids love it as much as they do, but the important thing is that it’s fun for everyone, it has them thinking on their toes, and it’s an awesome imagination game that even little ones can play.
3)    Bike Town. See that header up there? It’s pretty clear we love ourselves some bikes. But, gone are the days when we would gear up and head out for all day trail rides because the kids just can’t keep up on a 15 mile multi-city ride. Riding locally is fun, but an astonishing lack of sidewalks in the more rural areas makes even a 1 mile ride difficult with young kids. So, we play Bike Town in our little neighborhood where our bikes are cars. These “cars” obey the laws of the road, need to fill up with gas at the service station {aka the hose}, go through bank drive thrus, go around traffic cones, and they must stay on their side of the dotted lines that we draw on our sidewalk. Draw up a chalk parking lot on a driveway, make a repair shop on a front porch where you can lean bikes against a wall or turn them upside down for “fixing”, and repurpose any items you find in backyards, side yards, and garages that look like fun. Lumix new bike rider
4)    Find some woods. Oh, how I miss childhoods spent outside exploring wooded areas. Our kids are too young to go it alone in the woods, but we make a point to take them to our neighborhood woods or forests they can hike in a few times a month, even in the snow. It’s good for the soul to walk along wooded paths, and it is great exercise keeping up with little ones on winding and steep grades. 228299_1032091724419_5724430_n
5)    Toy wheels. I loved scooters and skateboards growing up, my wife loved roller skates. Recently we have made a point to reconnect with our kids using toy wheels of our youths so we can stay active with the kids while passing on a love of zooming down the sidewalk on tiny wheels. Go on, buy yourself and your kid a set of wheels and do something you both love, together. 

Getting out and staying fit as a family is just one of the many goals we are making now that we’re fully committed to the Jenny Craig system. I was at first really nervous about changing things up so drastically in terms of food and our daily eating habits while also incorporating extra exercise and activities, but I’m happy to say that 5 days into the program my resolve to make this a life changing reset is even greater. Jenny Craig Before Picture 3In a matter of days I went from questioning whether as a man the Jenny Craig program would be a good fit for me to being really excited about the prospect of getting back into shape in such a controlled way. A good portion of my fears were alleviated with just one one-on-one session at the local Jenny Craig.

Knowing that we’re going to be getting personalized help through this whole process along with a specific menu tailored just to me made me really excited and knowing that my wife and I would be doing it together made me even more convinced that this was going to be the push we needed. Once my last fear of eating foods that taste like cardboard for weeks was proven unfounded as I found I actually enjoyed the meals we were making, I was all in. Jenny Craig shrimp pastaWe may only be days in, but already I feel little hints of success and it makes the process all the more rewarding. Of course, there’s a part of me that loves the healthy competition of joining this type of program with my wife, and I think it’s going to definitely be a motivator the longer we are on the plan. Although it’s been an easy few days so far, I know that we are both going to have moments where we want to eat out or we want to indulge more than we should, and it’s really awesome to have each other to lean on as we stay on the plan and make these changes toward better health. Pushing stroller togetherI hope you follow along on our journey as we go from baby weight {yes, men have baby weight} to back into the shape we were in when we first were dating. We owe it to ourselves and our kids to make these changes now so we can stay active together as a family and enjoy their childhoods with them.

Are you looking to start your own journey with Jenny Craig? There are two plans to choose from: All Access or As You Go. Food costs vary but typically range between $15 – $23 per day, plus the cost of shipping, if applicable. Choose from one of 600 company-owned and franchised centers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico, or you can do Jenny Craig Anywhere and get one-on-one support via video chat or over the phone from a dedicated consultant. Jenny Craig potatoAlready a member? If you spread the word about your Jenny Craig experience with your friends, you could get $25 off of food for each referral using their Pay It Forward program.* This referral program will run from August 22nd through October 30th.

Jenny Craig's Simple Inspirations Recipe Contest invites you to share your volumizing skills for a chance to win $2,000! You can enter your favorite recipe using the Jenny Craig foods at the Jenny Craig Facebook page. Enter before September 8th.** Jenny Craig Simple Inspirations
TylerDisclaimer: I was provided a free trial Jenny Craig program and meals. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own. *$25 off food offer requires minimum food purchase of $90 US/$95 CAN. Referring member discount available on visit after referral enrolls on Jenny Craig program. Not valid with any other offer or discount. One offer per person. Not transferable. Guest Code: NGE. Referring Client Code: GRD. Restrictions apply. **Simple Inspirations contest open to residents of the 48 contig. US & DC, 21+ who are Jenny Craig members or employees as of 8/25/15. Entries must be rec’d by 11:59 p.m. PT on 9/8/15. Void in AZ, CO, IL, MD & where prohibited. See Official Rules for complete details.

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