Yoga It can be a challenge to make fitness a priority throughout the winter months. Short days combined with hectic work hours can bring about a lethargic state that is hard to break until spring arrives. For parents with young children, it can be even more challenging since cold and flu season makes playing outside nearly impossible. You don't need to be a fitness professional to understand the importance of physical fitness on all aspects of a child's health. Erin Bosniak is a yoga instructor at Amazing Yoga. She is also a mother of two and understands both the difficulties and importance of keeping kids active. Here are some of the ways she keeps her kids happy, healthy and full of energy through those challenging winter months and the rest of the year.
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By combining exercises that incorporate breathing, stretching and strengthening techniques that utilize nothing more than the participants' own body weight, yoga has become an exceptionally popular way for adults to stay in shape. It is also a great way to introduce kids to physical fitness. To make it fun, accentuate the animal poses of the exercise. Having kids act out animal positions on a set of animal flash cards is a wonderful way to make playtime and fitness time seamless.
With a little imagination and some couch cushions, you can transform your living room into an obstacle course. Have the little ones crawl, jump and tumble through make-shift forts and around couches. Games like hide and seek and tag can be a blast in these types of settings. Be sure to turn off the TV and make the area safe in the event of a fall and let the kids loose to burn off some of that extra energy. Adding toys like rubber balls, small (indoor) trampolines and costumes can make "play areas" more appealing.
There are no shortage of great parks, skating rinks and places to go sled riding around the Pittsburgh area. When those feelings of cabin fever start to set in and when the weather permits take the kids outside for some winter-themed activities. One of the best things about living in an area that has all four seasons is that each one brings with a new activity to experience.
Parents who make physical fitness a year-round priority are more likely to have children that follow in their footsteps. The earlier you start the better since very young kids will grow up accustomed to incorporating exercise into their daily routine. Something as simple as shooting baskets down at the local school gymnasium three or four times a week is a perfect way to start. It's free, it's fun and it sets the right example for children growing up in an internet, HDTV, and video game-saturated world.
Marcel Tourdot is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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