Monday, April 18, 2016

Fitness Choices & Learning Opportunites

In a world where many kids would rather sit inside, glued to one of many gadgets, we try as a family to get outdoors, as long as the weather permits.  We're lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, where the outdoor options are endless.  In our very own town, is a lake, where we can paddle boat, picnic, hike, bike ride... you get the point.  In the Bay Area, the weekend was hot.  And when I say hot, its 84 in the Spring.  Now that may seem fairly mild to some, but by Bay Area standards, thats beach weather.  We opted to take a little mini hike, since there was a light breeze & we could hide out in the trees.  
Tree break, from the hot sun

Round trip, we were out about 45 mins.  no more than 1.5 mils, if even that.  My younger daughter, hates walking.  It's been a thing for her since she was a baby.  Never wants to walk, always asking us to carry her.  We've spent the last few years trying our best to break her of said habit, but it's a major struggle.  While 3 out of 4 of us are enjoying the sunshine & fresh air, there's my little baby, pink cheeked and annoyed.  Almost every hike we take, one of us always stays back, to keep her pace.  Trying to keep her upbeat, I started asking questions about what she didn't enjoy about going on hikes, and if there were any other activities she'd prefer instead.  

1. It's too hot
2. Her legs are so little, so she works harder to keep up
3. She just doesn't like it :(

Bridge, meets bridge
That's when it dawned on me, that she may not ever truly enjoy going on hikes, the way that we do.  She'd rather hop in the paddle boats, or ride her bike, or go swimming.  Luckily, my girls love to be outside, more than they like the TV or their iPad.  It was more about finding activities that they enjoy.  So we're working on a list.  Sunday activities.  Having the majority rule every time & forcing them to participate isn't always fair, and what (might) work better, is adding things to the list, that each individual enjoys, and rotating. 

Now that may pose the exact same problems in the future, but having the opportunity to suggest an activity and have it clearly in black & white, gives options & choices.  A 7 year old isn't always heard in the spur of the moment.  We as parents are trying to teach them about taking care of themselves through fitness, and they showed us that they get it.  There are many ways to promote that self care, and a hike on a hot day, is just one of many.