Every new year starts off with a bang as we make resolutions to become healthier or make other changes to be happier. Historically, most resolutions fail before the first month of the new year draws to a close. We at ICAA Head Start understand this! We, like many others, are really good at mentally deciding to make change, but can find it difficult to take the first steps necessary to actually make the change happen. One reason this might happen is when we attempt to go at it alone. Support is key to making a lasting change, and often we need friends or family to make it happen. It’s not too late to start (or start over) on reaching your goals for 2021!
If you’re a parent, you know finding time to take care of ourselves is the hardest thing to do since we constantly put the needs of others before our own. How many times do we as parents go without or set our needs and wants aside to take care of our children? What can we do to get healthier and be successful at achieving our goals while also engaging with our family? We can include our families, including young children! When engaging in physical activities, we don’t have to find time when the children aren’t there or forego our “workout” when the day gets hectic. We can make physical activity part of our routines with our family. Here is a list of the best ways to get moving, even with a busy family life:
- Take a bike ride as a family. There are many pull behind attachments for bikes so you can even bring your infant along for the ride.
- Take a walk. You can always bring the stroller if you want to walk a longer distance than your children can handle.
- Do yard work. Get child size rakes and shovels so they can “help” get things done. They probably won’t actually rake that many leave or shovel that much snow, but it will give you time together and help them feel part of the action so you can get things done.
- Have a family dance party. Play a variety of music that the whole family can enjoy. Be sure to include music that ranges in tempo from fast to slow so you can get your heart rates up.
- Don’t take the easy way out. Park farther away from the entrance of a store or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Schedule family play time. Schedule time to play active games regularly like Tag, Simon Says, Mother May I, Red Light Green Light, or Hide n’ Seek.
- Choose toys that promote activity. Buy chalk to make a hopscotch board on the side walk, jump ropes of varying length, a slip ‘n’ slide, and balls to play a variety of games like catch or kickball.
- Limit screen time. Schedule times that are acceptable to watch television or play on other technology instead of having it constantly going in the background. By limiting this for everyone it will encourage the whole family to move more.
By making physical activity a part of your regular routines it will become just another part of your day instead of something you need to fit into your day. Now is the time to fit your resolutions and health goals into what you do with your family rather than waiting to see what you can get done when they are not around. If you engage in physical activity with your family, they can help you reach your goals!
ICAA’s Head Start program serves children in Burnett, Clark, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn counties. Head Start helps children with school readiness and encourages parents to be active in their children’s learning. The program also helps parents with their own education, literacy, and employment goals. Head Start provides services and information around areas such as education, health, nutrition, social, and more. Learn more about ICAA Head Start at www.indianheadcaa.org.