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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Exercise with the Kiddos...

I love this article about circuit training with children. This is a perfect way to make physical activity fun!
The kids will love the activities and they will love that Mom and/or Dad are doing them too.
Plus if you don't have time to squeeze in your workout this is a great way to get some exercise while playing with the kids.

Family Fun: Circuit Training #1
By kristen_deleo

Last week I wrote about the concept of circuit training and how simple it is to do at home with your family. (See Family Circuit Training [1].) From an exercise science point of view, the benefit of circuit training is the ability to get your cardiovascular and strength training done in one shot. But from the point of view of an experienced children's fitness instructor, the benefit of circuit training is the ability to keep kids entertained with an ever-changing array of equipment and activity at each station.All of the family circuits presented here will include stations simply labeled “Cardio,” “Muscle,” and “Fun.” The “Fun” stations will often focus on coordination and balance, but sometimes they may just be good, old-fashioned fun.Here’s what you’ll need for

Family Circuit #1:
Paper plates or orange cones
Jump ropes (one child size, one adult)
Canned food
Plastic Bouncy Ball
Beach Towel or exercise mat
Bubble wrap cut into a large square

Set up your circuit stations wherever you have the most space in your home. It may be the family room, the garage, or even the backyard. Warm-up together as a family for five minutes. This may be as simple as walking around the block. But if you have one of those kids who loves the spotlight, let him or her lead the family in a short warm-up to music. Next the family disperses to the stations.

Station #1 Cardio
Jump rope:
This station will need the most room.

Station #2 Muscle
Bicep curls: Use the canned food as hand weights for the kids. Parents may want to substitute the cans with heavier hand weights at this station. It’s important to emphasize proper form for the bicep curls. Older kids will invariably say the canned food is too light. The point is for them to learn proper form first (shoulders back, abs tight, knees slightly bent) to prepare them for heavier weights.

Station #3 Cardio/Muscle
Ball Hop
: Using your adductor muscles (inner thigh), squeeze a ball between your knees as you hop to the rhythm of the music.

Station #4 Cardio/Muscle
Boxing: Let the little ones get their aggression out with jabs and upper cuts (not on each other!). Keep your heart rate up by staying “light on your feet,” rocking side to side. Kids love to punch targets. Ideally there would be a parent available at this station to hold a pillow as a target. (For extra fun, you can purchase inflatable clowns that are weighted at the bottom. They make excellent targets.)

Station #5 Muscle
The Plank: Kids like this exercise because of its analogy to pirates “walking the plank.” Lie face down on a towel or mat, with your arms bent at the elbows, palms down. Curl your toes under and lift your entire body about one inch off the floor so that your toes and forearms are supporting your weight. This exercise engages a multitude of muscles in the body. Keep your body aligned, straight as a plank. (See photo.) For kids, I use the cue, “No stinkbugs!” to remind them to keep their rear from rising up. Also, you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to breathe during this exercise. Both kids and adults need to be reminded to inhale and exhale.

Station #6 Cardio/Fun
The Pop!:
As you’re well aware, kids love to make noise. At this station you can jump, stomp, or dance on the square of bubble wrap to pop your way to a good workout. Yep, it’s fun. You might need a back-up piece.

A good length of time at each station is about 30 seconds. Family members can take turns being in charge of watching the clock and yelling “Next station!” If space permits you can increase your number of stations by adding a “free” station between each regular station. A free station doesn’t require any equipment and remains the same through out the circuit. For example, if the family chooses jogging in place as the free station, each participant would jog in place every time before moving on to the next established station. You can mark the free station with an orange cone or a paper plate. The kids can use markers to write “jog in place” on the plate. Other ideas for free stations include jumping jacks, and dances like The Twist or Macarena.

Repeat the circuit until you get in a good twenty minutes of activity. Fun music will help you and your kids to stay motivated. Finish with a five-minute cool down and stretch.

As a mom, I realize circumstances don’t always allow you to accomplish everything you have planned. In reality, you may not have the time, space, or energy to create the perfect family circuit. Remember that any activity is better than no activity. So leave out a couple stations or improvise if needed. The goal is to establish healthy habits for your family by allocating time to move and sweat together.
Check back in the coming weeks for Family Circuit #2.
Source URL: http://www.healthnews.com/blogs/kristen-deleo/fitness-exercise/family-fun-circuit-training-1-3816.html

Healthy Lemony Green Beans

I often forget to put much thought into the veggie side dishes I make. I will prepare the main dish and then just steam some beans and broccoli and throw them on the table. Lately my little one has become more picky and will leave the veggies on her plate (unless I give her some ketchup to dip them in...totally gross I know). I guess it is time for me to get more creative and teach her that veggies are yummy. My husband will probably appreciate it too. I like this twist on the green bean from CookingLight.com-

Here are some variations to make them even more kid and adult friendly-

Lemony Green Beans

This wonderfully adaptable recipe will become a go-to side dish that works alongside fish, chicken, poultry, and many other main dishes.

For Kids: Skip the lemon juice and sweeten the dish with a touch of honey or maple syrup. Serve on top of steamed white or brown rice along with a piece of grilled chicken for a complete meal.

For Adults: Try a spicy variation to the dish: add crushed red pepper, cumin, and slivered unsweetened coconut to the hot oil. Sauté for a minute or two, then add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve garnished with a mixture of mint and cilantro leaves. Complete the meal with brown rice and grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Melon Salsa

I love a new twist on the classic grilled chicken recipe...


Click on the link for the recipe and a picture. Look delicious!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Delicious Whole Grain Waffles

This is a must try recipe...

I did add a little bit of white flour to the recipe to make it less heavy and I also added a little more oatmeal. I think next time I want to try a little cinamon too. The recipe does make a lot so if you don't have to feed a lot of mouths you can have these on hand for a quick and easy breakfast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 3

Sorry for the lack of posts this last week. We were out of town a lot this week and I didn't have time to sit down and blog much. I promise to make up for it this week. As for the plan, week 3 will look just like week 1 except for the cardio minutes will be bumped up to 60 minutes.

I will do my best to focus on healthy recipes this week. I have been trying to find a muffin and bread recipe that are completely whole grain, but I have yet to have enough success to share any of them with you. I will keep experimenting and I promise to share once I find the magic one.

I really am on a mission to find foods that are healthy yet taste good enough that my husband won't know they are healthy for him. If he had it is his way we would eat hot dogs and hamburgers every night. One day I hope to convert him to the health nut life but I feel it will take a lifetime to accomplish this.

Good luck with week 3. We shall keep in touch!