Learn how you can get fit and stay healthy for each other. Your family deserves it!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Take A Lap
A family bike ride can be a great way to spend time together and get some exercise, but with younger children, you often alternate between worrying about their safety on city streets and waiting for them to catch up. It can put a real damper on the whole event and ruin the outing. But before you scrap your plans, consider riding your bikes at a local school. We love to ride our bikes on the high school track a few blocks from our house. Always check to make sure there aren’t any rules against riding your bikes on the track, and that there are no events scheduled. And be extra courteous to anyone there to run/walk on the track. Our rule is that we give runners "two lanes" on either side, and always say "on your right" (or left) when we pass. The track is usually softer than the street—excellent if you have inexperienced riders who might wipe out—plus, there are no cars to worry about, and everyone can go safely at their own pace. You can make it even more fun by breaking into pairs and racing each other, even do a relay. It’s easy to keep track of how far you’ve gone, since four laps equal a mile. An added bonus of using the track is that it usually surrounds a football field. If the younger kids get tired of riding, they can run around on the football field or bleachers and you can still keep an eye on them. Be sure to pack plenty of water, load up on sunscreen, and of course, ALWAYS wear your helmet!
Family Fitness Files aims to prove that a healthy lifestyle is possible. My story is probably like yours. Once an athlete & fitness instructor, I replaced healthy habits with long work hours & daylong orgies of caffeine, candy bars & fast food. Years later, I was 5’9” & 229 pounds, battling sleep apnea, back & knee problems. My once athletic build hid under layers of fat. I hated my body, but despite many attempts, I couldn’t lose weight. I finally realized I just wanted to be healthy, for myself & my family. Keeping up with two active kids was a chore & I couldn’t accept that anymore. I made small changes over a long period of time. No food was off-limits; rather, I enjoyed it in moderation. Soon, I was exercising daily & eating right. Over a year, I lost 55 pounds, which I’ve kept off. I made lifestyle changes so my kids can learn from my example. But so many families struggle with this issue. They want to change, but don’t know how. Now that you’re here, think of today as your first step. You’ll find tips that work for your life. Today’s the day you say, “I’m worth it, my family is worth it, and we’ll do this for each other because we deserve it.”