Happy Spring SNAP Families!
Exercise is an important part of living a healthy life. Physical activity provides better sleeping patterns, increases confidence, sharpens memory (better grades for children) and builds a solid foundation in overall well-being. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends children be active for 60 minutes a day. Parents can teach these behaviors to their children from birth to support lifelong healthy habits. Children tend to follow what their parents do. When you exercise together, not only do you develop healthy habits in a fun way, but you also create happy memories. Remember to always have a water bottle on hand while being active throughout the day.
Here are some simple activities that require little or no equipment; Duck-Duck-Goose, Red Light/Green Light, Simon Says, or Balloon Play (blowing them up, tossing it up, keeping it from hitting the ground or volleying it back and forth or play hoops through your arms).
A quick cardio workout (done while standing up or sitting in a chair) could consist of:
- Warm up by jogging in place-30 seconds-count out together
- Jumping Jacks-(set of 15)
- Squats, just like sitting down in a chair but with your arms out in front of you- set of 10
- Knee Lifts-tap each knee with the palm of hand when you lift them up-set of 10
- Cool down with marching in place for 30 seconds
A good way to introduce physical activity to children is through reading stories. Here are three age-appropriate books:
Ages 3-7: Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell, 2008
Ages 5-8: Keeping Fit, Blastoff! Readers: Eating Right with MyPlate by Megan Bergert-Spaniol, 2012
Ages 8-12: Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More by Mallika Chopra, 2018
Here is a danceable music video about the importance of milk to your bones, https://jumpwithjill.com/watch/bone-rap-music-video/.
Many other physical activity options can be found at:
In Massachusetts, there are many hiking trails and outdoor activities that are available for free or low-cost to SNAP families;
Move together. Laugh together. Be well together.