Staying Fit with Your Grandkids

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Recently I read a study that said that kids who are around their grandparents a lot tend to be overweight! Why that is true is easy to understand. Grandparents typically give their grandkids snacks and treats parents would avoid and also are less active around their grandchildren. However you can change this alarming trend by encouraging your grandkids to stay fit right along with you. Here are some easy ideas for you and your grandkids to stay fit and healthy, no matter what your age is:

Healthy Snacking – While it is natural to want to give your grandkids fun treats you should try to avoid giving in to requests for candy and fast food. Instead, make eating right fun and tasty. Be sure to stock your refrigerator with kid friendly snacks like apple slices, fruit ice pops, crackers and cheese. For dessert offer to take the kids to get frozen yogurt instead of ice cream or cake. Or make oatmeal cookies with applesauce to cut down on the fat. There are lots of easy ways to make your home a healthy place to eat.


Exploring – Kids love to explore new places and see new things. Even a walk around your neighborhood can be an adventure if you look at it the right way. When your grandchildren come to visit why not take them for a walk? Go as slow as you need to. It is better to be moving then sitting still, no matter what speed that moving may be. As you walk point out interesting things. Teach your grandkids the names of flowers and how they grow. Talk about how big the trees are or what color the houses are. Keep an eye out for frogs and lizards. Talk about how ants work or bees. Discuss cloud formations, how you know a storm is coming, or what the wind smells like.

By sharing your knowledge with your grandkids you can help them better understand the world around them and still be active doing it. If you need to take a break sit down on a bench and send them on a scavenger hunt. They can stay in your view as they search for a purple leaf, a pink flower, a ladybug, something yellow or whatever idea you can come up with. You can even offer to time them as they race from one tree to another, see how long it takes then to do twenty jumping jacks or other active activities.

Bike Rides – A great low impact exercise, bike riding helps keep you fit and allows you to keep up with the grandkids. Kids love to go for bike rides. If you can, try to pick a route with few cars so you don’t have to worry about that. Parks and hike and bike trails make fun places for kids to ride. As you take it easy they can roar through puddles, jump over hills, and skid to a stop. Or go long distance and turn it into an expedition. If you give kids a fun destination to shoot for, like the yogurt shop or the playground, they will go further than you think without complaining. You can even bike to the zoo or the children’s museum if you are close enough.

Stretching – Being active does not have to mean being outside. Sometimes the weather just does not cooperate with you. However if you are stuck indoors that does not mean you have to spend your day in front of the television. Stretching and yoga can be a fun way for you and your grandkids to work out together. Even kids need to work on their flexibility or they will lose it. Help them to stay calm and focused as they hold the stretches. If giving directions is not your forte, pop in a tape or download one that shows you both how to do it the right way. You can laugh and have fun as you strain, balance, and tangle yourselves up trying to reach those ‘easy’ positions.

You can also go back to the basics by teaching them how to do sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, and other simple floor exercises. Count how many you can both do and turn it into a game.

Active Games – Speaking of games, there are tons of active games that you can play with your grandkids. Think about your childhood. You didn’t spend hours sitting in front of the computer or television. You were always up and active. What did you like to do for fun? Play catch, hopscotch, Simon Says, Red Light- Green Light, badminton, croquet, darts, basketball, kickball, jump rope, kick the can, hula hoop and much more. There are so many old games that you can play with practically nothing but imagination. If you don’t have a ball to play with then wad up a piece of paper. No dartboard? Draw one and throw sharpened pencils at an empty box. No jump rope? Any rope will do.

Even running around trying to keep a balloon from touching the ground is an active game that kids love. Volleyball, table tennis, horseshoes, bowling and more can be done with things just lying around the house. Make up ‘fair’ games with empty canned goods. Set up a shooting gallery with a water gun and paper cutouts. Whatever you do stay moving and active.

Make Believe – Kids love stories and they love them even more when they can be involved. One way to get kids active and moving is to play Army. Maybe you were in the military or maybe you just watched a lot of war movies but you are sure to impress your grandkids as you train them in Grandparent Bootcamp! Pretend that you are a Sargent training a new recruit. Stand up tall, put your hands behind your back and start barking orders.

Make sure the kids know you are just playing by giving them a smile or wink every once in a while. Insist they say “yes, sir” and salute when you give an order. Have them crawl through obstacle courses like your kitchen table and chairs, scout out the enemy (your neighbor’s cat), make up camp with a sheet and some clothespins, and march in time to a song. You can even put them to work if you would like. Have them rake the leaves (looking for mines) or wash the dishes (KP duty). Together you can go on a march (take a walk) and keep a lookout for suspicious activity and signs of the enemy. A broken branch, a ripped leaf and a lost shoe can all be signs the enemy is near. Let the kids have fun playing soldier and making everything an adventure.

These are just a few of the fun ways you and your grandkids can stay active and healthy together. Staying fit does not mean you have to run on a treadmill or hit the gym. Instead take little steps towards a healthier lifestyle and make it fun. You and the kids are much more likely to keep it up if you both enjoy it.

Author Byline:

Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com. She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmailDOTcom

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Tammy
Tammy Embrich -- Full time work from home, writer, blogger, Avon representative, and LOVES playing with makeup. She is the proud grandmother of 2 wonderful grand blessings. You can visit Tammy at MakeUp Products Online .

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