Skip to main content

The Family that Exercises Together Stays Together

When everything shut down due to mandatory social distancing back in March of 2020, I had to find something to do with my active family. We were used to leaving the house every day for one activity or another, but when the libraries, parks, and extracurriculars all closed down for an indeterminate amount of time, we took to the trail. Walking, running and hiking became the one ways our family was able to get out of the house safely. At that time, my kids were nine, two, and nine-months-old. I bought a double stroller so we could all spend time outside exercising together, and we started to frequent the rail trail in our town every afternoon. The double stroller was perfect because the 9-month-old couldn't walk/run yet, and the two-year-old could move as much as she wanted, and then when she got tired she could hop in and be pushed. My oldest proved to be quite the athlete, and often outran me! Being able to be on the trail allowed us a healthy outlet for our cooped up and stressed-out minds, and it was the perfect way to spend quality time with the family while also getting their wiggles out. 


When outdoor masks were eventually mandated, we stopped going to the trail in town, and created a trail in our own backyard, which connected to a service road that ran behind our property. I was determined to keep our daily walk/runs, and we did. It was a time for me to chat with my oldest about anything and everything, and the little ones loved exploring nature. 


Even as the world began to open up again and our schedules returned, we have remained committed to exercising as a family and we are still on the trail at least three times per week. We have also expanded our hikes and explored some local trails that are jogging-stroller friendly, and that has kept our exercise time from being boring. The most important thing is that all the kids and I can access the work-out at our own levels. Using the stroller gives the littles a break when they need it, and allows the big ones and me to move a bit faster. 

I got an Apple Watch in the fall, and the fitness tracker has helped motivate me. My now 10-year-old decided she wanted to know how many steps she is taking and calories she is burning, so she used her own money to buy a fit bit (because she's too young for smart phones and smart watches.) This way, we are able to encourage and motivate each other through competition. Surprisingly or not, she often wins! 


One added benefit besides the obvious healthy lifestyle that walking/hiking/running promotes, is that when we are on the trail, it gives us a chance to connect as a family in a new way. My 10-year-old and I have had some conversations as we walked that I don't think we would have ever broached otherwise. There's something about walking side by side and talking, instead of face-to-face, which gives an added sense of comfort and allows young people to open up in a way they might not otherwise. Raising a preteen, there are so many important conversations that need to be had... I'm glad we've found a special place to be able to have them. 


Comments

  1. Indeed exercise and time together with our children is key to our mental and physical health

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why my Children Won't Believe in Santa Claus

Tonight all across the world, children are waiting for Santa with bated breath. They've made lists of wants and perhaps written letters addressed to the North Pole, baked cookies, set out milk, and dream of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But not my children. Well, maybe the dreaming of sugar plums part, but definitely not the white beard, chubby and plump right jolly old elf part. Even before my two biological children were born, my husband and I made the decision to not deceive them with the narrative of Santa, and in fact, not give them any gifts at all on Christmas. Intrigued? Infuriated? Here's why... My husband is from Guatemala and was raised Jehovah Witness , and one of the tenants of that faith is a strict adherence to not celebrating anything here on earth. This includes not celebrating Christmas or birthdays , and not giving gifts to commemorate these days. While he isn't a practicing Witness right now (instead we attend Celebration International Church

Why My Daughter Won't Be Attending Preschool

There's no doubt that the first five years of a child's life are formative and indicative of later success throughout their lives. As an educator, I know preschool can play an important part in the cognitive and social development of toddlers. However, in this unprecedented time of pandemic life, social distancing and remote learning, sending your child to preschool is a personal decision that varies by family. And our family has decided not to send our daughter to preschool.  The research on the benefits of preschool is irrefutable, and there have been incentives for families to enroll their children in preschool since the 1960's and 1970's. Many BIPOC families have actually been targeted and encouraged to send their children to preschool, with HeadStart and other free programs available. According to a DOE report , access to high-quality preprimary education can be the key that unlocks education equality across races, geography and income.  With all of my experience a

Apple Picking without Discrimination

In New England, apple picking is the quintessential fall fun activity. I actually didn't know going to an orchard to pick your own apples was a pastime until I moved to Boston, but after I went with my youth group during my freshman year of college I was hooked, and I've been apple picking with friends or family every fall since. I have beautiful memories of walking up and down rows of apple-laden (or sometimes picked bare!) trees, trying to climb to the top and always searching for the shiniest, juiciest apples. Even one of Francisco and my first dates was apple picking.  In my 15 years of residency on the East Coast, I've visited a variety of apple orchards in New England nearly every autumn and a few years ago, I thought I had finally found the perfect place. Tougas Family Farm had everything you wanted for your perfect fall afternoon--apple and pumpkin picking, fresh apple cider and donuts, kettle corn, a petting farm, a hayride, and a playground for the kids. But it al