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healthykids
Play as Exercise
by Jen Lemen
S
ummer is here and kids are
30-minute workout will pass
Award medals of distinction, made
running wild with boundless
in no time.
out of crepe paper and recycled alumi-
energy. Why not join them? num foil, to everyone who ran the race.
Playing with your kids and their
Jump for Joy
Little kids will love reporting to their
friends is a good way to bond with
Forget everything you’ve ever
parents and friends
them. It’s also a quicker and easier
said about jumping on the
how they conquered
route to keeping in shape than
bed. Treat your kids to seven
20 or 200 laps with
going to the gym.
minutes of insanity by playing
you by their side.
Twenty minutes of
every jumping game you all can
sustained play—running,
imagine. Start with a bedroom
Shake What Your
jumping or dancing—three
tour to find the bounciest beds,
Mama Gave You
to four times a week, builds
followed by a hop down the hall
Turn up the radio in
energy, improves cardiovascu-
and through the living room.
the kitchen and work up a
lar health, helps overall
Keep your heart rate up after
sweat showing youngsters
mood, decreases tension,
your seven minutes inside by
how to dance the night
tones muscles and aids
taking it outside.
away. Just 20 minutes,
sleep. The following
Learn the jump rope rhymes
rocking to five to six songs,
family games all offer a
de jour and hop ’til you drop. It’s great
will get your heart pumping
minimum 20 minutes of
for calves, arms, delts and abs. Cool
and show everybody who’s
activity that will get your
down with a little hopscotch, followed
still got it going on. Don’t
heart pumping and provide fun for all.
by a skip to the freezer, where home-
be surprised if you want to
made popsicles await.
keep going.
Tag–You’re It!
Kids love to show off their own
You’ll be amazed at the endless varia-
Marathon Mania moves and appreciate your willingness
tions of tag that have emerged since
Invite neighborhood kids to a special
to get down in the name
you were in grade school. Ask your kids
race against the clock as you find
of playful fun. Impromptu
to educate you about the latest recess
out how many laps you can run
dance parties are the per-
tag incarnation and then, declare your-
around your house, apart-
fect intervention for couch
self to be “It.”
ment, car, yard or dining
potato kids’ longing
Take the long way to get to your
room table in five min-
for something fun
slowest little one, putting all your effort
utes. Fall down on the
to do this summer.
into exaggerated steps, while you swing
ground in a dizzy display
out those arms. Let your oldest give you
of exhaustion. Then, get up and
Jen Lemen is a freelance
a run for your money and enjoy being
do it again and again. Push
writer, illustrator and
tagged over and over again. The delight
yourself to see how long you
doula in Silver Spring, Maryland.
on your children’s faces does a body
can hang with your most
Connect at JenLemen.com.
good in more ways than one. A 20- to
active preschooler.
16 New Haven/Middlesex Counties
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