Spring is officially here and the grass is getting greener every day. This time of year is also when many kids across the state will lace up cleats and grab a glove as baseball, softball, and soccer seasons start up. Participating in sports helps kids develop important life skills, like teamwork, self-discipline, and goal-setting. And of course, sports help kids move more. But did you realize that spring sports can help the whole family be more physically active? Continue reading
Physical activity is an important part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. When you move your body, your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to fuel active muscles. This helps increase your heart’s strength and endurance. A stronger and fitter heart is more efficient and healthy, which can reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke. The slang term “cardio” get’s its name from cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic physical activity. Let’s explore the connection between physical activity and cardiovascular health. Continue reading
For most people, being physically active brings up ideas of lifting weights at a gym, going for a jog, or following along with an exercise video. Those of course are physical activities and are important for good health. However, limiting our idea of moving more to just structured exercise makes it easy to overlook other opportunities to be activity throughout the day. Continue reading
Our campaign promoting the use of SNAP at farmers markets uses the tagline “Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets.” But you may be wondering how can you move more at farmers markets. In our program, we encourage people to increase their physical activity in many ways, from traditional workouts to fitting in fitness during everyday activities. Which means that there are ways to move more at the market.
It may be the most obvious, but you can walk/bike/jog/skip/etc. to the farmers market instead of driving. Finding opportunities to drive less and use your own two feet is a great strategy to move more every day. And before you point out that it’s too far from your house to the market, I live 26.5 miles from the farmers market and I usually walk. No, I’m not so crazy to walk a marathon just to get stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. I just walk from work, a much more reasonable 1-mile trip. Think about ways you can visit the market as part of your errands and walk between the different places you need to go. (Just remember to save the groceries for your last stop to keep your food safe.)
Cut a Rug
Many markets feature live music and other family-friendly entertainment. So if the music moves you, dance! Dancing is one of those awesome physical activities that don’t feel like exercise and is fun for all ages.
Open Air Workouts
While this is not very common (yet!), some markets offer group exercise classes on-site. So you can get sweaty with a boot-camp style workout, or get zen with a yoga session right at the market. The only market I know of in Virginia that offers this is the Vinton Farmers Market. The program Shake, Bake, and Sprout teaches kids to move more (shake), eat smart (bake), and grow container gardens (sprout). If you know of others, share in the comments!
What other ways have you been active at a farmers market?
What are some other entertainment, programs, or activities offered at your market?
Are your kids spending too much time in front of the television? Having a hard time getting them moving? Being active should be an important part of your child’s day. It is recommended for children to get at least 60 minutes of play everyday to be healthy. Children who move more at a young age are likely to be healthier adults.
Being active can lead to:
- Healthy growth
- Stronger bones and heart
- Better concentration in school
- Regular sleeping patterns
Creating an active lifestyle for your family is easy and can be fun and free! Here are a few simple ideas involving the whole family to get your kids moving:
- Start the day with physical activity – walk or bike to school with your kids
- Take a trip to the local park or public school playground. Monkey bars, swings and tag are great ways be active at the playground.
- Take your family pet for a walk. Don’t have a pet? Go for a family walk after school and take that time to talk about what they learned that day!
- Encourage your children to sign up for after-school programs that involve activity – such as a running club or swim team.
- Include the whole family in yard work or outdoor chores – digging in the garden or mulching, raking the leaves or shoveling snow.
Leading a physically active lifestyle helps your family’s health. Check out this blog post about how physical activity leads to a healthy heart. What are some ways your family likes to move more together?