August 30, 2011

Fitness with the Grandkids: Have a Ball!

Kids… they are full of energy, vitality and a thirst for fun!  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bottle that energy to use throughout life? Energy is so vital to your well-being. Did you know that  seniors who don’t practice physical fitness regularly seem to be more prone to the non-energy and lower energy factors that seem to permeate their lives?  Conversely, seniors who participate in regular physical fitness routines do not  seem to suffer as much with lower energy levels. However,  even the most diligent fitness enthusiasts  can get a bit tired of the “same old routine” even if their fitness regimes are fun and challenging, such as fitness classes or by going to the gym.
Incorporate joy back in to your workout and allow yourself  to harness some of that “kid” energy described above by coordinating your workout with kids!   That’s right, with children!   Whether they are your grandchildren, children of friends or ones that are around the neighborhood, add a spark into your fitness routine and motivate you to workout with a new zest and energy by teaming up with the wee folk!
A few of the ideas below are some that you might find interesting, fun and challenging!  You will need a few supplies and of course, a few grandchildren hanging around, a small wastebasket and a 4” rubber ball.
Ball Toss:

  1. Adult  sits on a sturdy chair facing child.
  2. Child stands in front of the adult approximately 4 feet in front of adult.
  3. Adult takes the ball between his/her palms and lifts elbows to the side and then tosses the ball to the child.
  4. Child catches the ball and then tosses it back to the adult.
  5. Exercise is repeated 10 times for 3 sets.

Ball Roll:

  1. Adult sits on sturdy chair facing child.
  2. Child stands in front of adult approximately 10 feet in front of adult.
  3. Adult  rolls the ball on the grass or rug with right hand to the child.
  4. Child returns the ball and then moves 4 feet to former position.
  5. Still in the sitting position, the adult again rolls the ball to the child at a  different angle.
  6. Child returns ball to the adult and moves back to the starting position.
  7. Continue to roll the ball with the child moving to different areas in front of the adult but never losing the 10 foot distance.
  8. Repeat steps 1 – 7 with left hand.

Overhead Ball Toss:

  1. Adult sits on sturdy chair.
  2. Child places the wastebasket approximately. 6 feet from the adult.
  3. Adult throws the ball overhead into the wastebasket.
  4. Child returns the ball to the adult and then the exercise is repeated.
  5. Child keeps score on how many “baskets” the adult gets!

As you can see – having fun with the kids is important and a lot of fun.  Children love to be with their grandparents and special older folks.  Children can also be a vital part of that time together by incorporating fun and exercises into a visit.  Kids will be cheering Grandma or Grandpa on and Grandma and Grandpa can be proud or their achievements!  A win/win for everyone!  Suggestion for after the workout – perhaps a nice glass of lemonade to toast the achievements of the afternoon…. Cheers and have a ball!
Remember – it is always a good idea to check with your doctor prior to starting any fitness program!