Kids won't get off the couch or away from the computer? Trick 'em, says the author of "Sneaky Fitness."
With new statistics revealing that our kids are spending almost eight hours a day in front of some form of electronic media, it's no wonder we're concerned about keeping our kids fit ... or at the very least, getting them off the couch.
Missy: With my first book, The Sneaky Chef, I had -- along with thousands of other moms -- gotten kids to eat healthier, but that's only half the battle. Kids are living a sedentary life. Family time is all scheduled. My 11-year-old, Emily, plays tennis, and 9-year-old Samantha does tae kwon do. But that's only a couple times a week. The rest of the time, they're couch potatoes.
Momlogic: How does the Sneaky Fitness method work?
Missy: Simply by engaging kids in games and activities that keep them moving. One of my favorites, and one of the easiest ideas, is laying out bubble wrap on the floor and letting the kids jump on it.
Momlogic: Is it ever too early to sneak some fitness into a kid's routine?
Missy: No! An active lifestyle should start early. Kids should NEVER think elevators work! Sneaky Fitness is of course broken down by age group. What works for a 4-year-old won't work for an 11-year-old.
1) Walk the talk, talk the walk
If my daughter Emily wants to text with her friends on a portable device, I want her up and moving. I do the same thing. When I talk on the phone, I don't sit down, I pace around the room. Pretend the chair is on fire and you can't sit in it.
2) Have an exercise ball
For at least part of the day, I replace the chair in front of the computer with an exercise ball. It help kids strengthen their core muscles.
3) No mindless munching
The rule at my house for the kids and for me is no food in front of the TV. You have no idea how such a simple change can have a positive effect on your health.
4) Turn your living room into a playroom
If you have the room, put a mini trampoline or one of those sit-upon bouncy toys wherever you have the television. Don't tell your kids they have to use it. But you can bet your kids will be bounding their way through "American Idol."