Saturday, April 17, 2010

Better Shape Up...!

I knew I wasn`t as active as I should be but I didn`t realize just how out of shape I was until the first time I had my grandchildren over after they started crawling. Being on the floor with them and running after them totally exhausted me! I needed to get in shape and soon if I was going to keep up with them as they grew older (and as I grew older). I immediately started a fitness program to get myself in shape, but I also learned I had to pace myself when I was with them; high energy games, running around, etc. when they first arrived and I saved the quieter games, etc. for later on in the day. I have a few examples of things that I do which I don`t find too hard on my poor old bones...and sometimes it works out that they are exerting more energy than me, which is fine with me...

• If you were going to plan a walk for yourself anyway, why not wait and take your grandchildren on a “Nature Walk” in your own backyard. Last weekend, I took my grandchildren for a walk in our backyard and I made a checklist of what I thought we might see , ie, trees, birds, rocks, etc., and I asked my granddaughter to mark an “X” in the box everytime we seen something on the list. Since she is just starting to write letters, she thought this was great. By the end of our walk, she was asking for the checklist saying she needed to put an "X" in the box and then she would say “check”. It was a great time, and we didn’t have to go far to enjoy the experience.
• We have a trampoline in our backyard in the summer. I don’t usually get in on the jumping fun (my bladder wouldn’t stand for it), but I definitely can sit and watch them enjoying themselves.
• Throwing a ball, or kicking and running after it. Either is fun and active.
• Get a hula hoop and let them go at it - and join in if you are able to.
• If they are signed up for swimming lessons, consider joining in. When they are younger sometimes they need a parent, or adult, with them, so if the parents don`t mind, maybe you could join in every now and then. On the other hand, you could take them to a swimming pool or wave pool when you have a chance. Be sure to take someone with you if you don't feel like you can handle it yourself. Their safety is first and foremost.

For those times when you just don’t have the energy, there are less physical things you can do like reading, watching movies, watching them do a play or puppet show, singing, colouring, or if you need to, get someone else to take over and tell them that you need a rest. You could promise them that you will run with them later, or better yet, tell them that Grandpy will ha ha Seriously though, you will want to be in better shape so that you can keep up with your active grandchildren. It will make your time together that much more special and a little less exhausting!

Being active is an important part of everyone's life, but for my grandson who has cystic fibrosis, physical activity is proven to be a real benefit to his well-being, so I also keep that in mind for him. The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation holds many activities throughout the year which not only benefits the Foundation (and Research) it benefits the participants. To find out more about about the many activities and fundraisers that the Foundation organizes, please go to their website

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