April is the Month of the Military Child
April is a good time for everyone to embrace their inner child with
these fun, simple ways the entire family can be active.
PUT SPRING INTO YOUR FAMILY’S STEP
Those of us who have two legs have a variety of ways to get around. We can walk, run, leap, hop, skip,
prance, powerwalk, jog or shuffle. Do you know which is the most efficient?
Dr. Astrid Berglundson, a researcher in the Sports Medicine Program at Nevada State University, looked into
that very topic. It turns out that the most efficient (least energy for best results) manner of locomotion is to skip.
Kids LOVE to skip. People in love skip. Astronauts on the moon skip. People who win the lottery skip.
If skipping is a sign of joy,
maybe it can release joy as well?
Skipping is just one of the many activities that children do for the fun of it. When adults are active and do fun activities with children, as a family, it builds a lifelong habit of exercise and movement. The family that moves together stays fit together!
Focus on Fun Family Fitness
Family fitness doesn’t mean going to the gym – although there are many options for that. You can also set a goal using the FitFamily Goal Tracker. Family fitness can be as simple as being active together. Here’s a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Skip. You could make a fun routine of skipping around the house twice before every meal. Or skip home from the bus stop after school.
- Walk. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. If one family member wears a pedometer, and you walk together, you all earned those steps. Many families take a stroll after their evening meal. Take turns wearing the pedometer. Start a family challenge to see who can walk the most steps during a week.
- Climb. Make it a family rule that you take the stairs when that is an option. The first few times you climb flights of stairs it might be tough, but it gets easier and the entire family will be getting stronger.
- Work. Nobody likes chores, but “many hands make light work.” Wash the car or rake the leaves together. Even big chores are more fun when little hands are helping out.
- Run. Is there a local school track nearby? Start out with one lap and build up from there. And take the dog! Unless the dog has physical problems, even the little guys will love to go for a run.
- Bike. This is the favorite activity for many families. Make sure everyone is wearing a helmet! If you need a motivator, sign the family up for a short-distance benefit bike ride.
- Hunt. If you’ve ever played the alphabet driving game, (find an object that starts with the letter “a” and go on from there), you could translate that game to a neighborhood walk. Or make a list of things to find, so the walk is like a simple treasure hunt.
- Toss and catch. This works with a Frisbee, baseball, softball, football, squishy ball or any other type of ball. This can go on for a long time. Trust us on that one…
THE SIDE BENEFIT OF MANY OF THESE
ACTIVITIES IS THAT THEY PROVIDE
OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONVERSATION.
Look for options on your base during the Month of the Military Child. The Month of the Military Child recognizes the role military children play in the armed forces community. It is a time to thank America’s youngest heroes for the sacrifices they make in courageous support of their military parents. The honor was established in 1986 and recognizes the 1.9 million U.S. military children. Depending on your location, there are a range of activities for children and families including parades, fairs, art and poetry contests and much more. Check with your local military Youth Programs for a schedule of events and how to get involved.
To find out more information about Month of the Military Child and share stories, visit the Month of the Military Child website.