The Gift of Health

Preparing Health and Harvest

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If I could have one wish for Christmas it would be more time. Over the past six years I’ve had three baby girls, and as a mom of three I have little time to take care of myself. Between nap schedules, drop off’s and pick up’s, the soccer games on weekends, and the evening ballet classes, time for my own needs eludes me.

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Sometimes my baby likes to check my progress.

About four years, ago after the birth of my second daughter, I realized I needed to start taking care of my body. Having children in itself keeps you active, but I wanted my muscles back. So, I stole the time and began working out at home. I set a routine that I could commit to. Every day I showed up because God gave me a healthy body, and it’s up to me to take care of it. For 20 to 40 minutes a day I focused on moving, and the benefits have been improved muscle tone, better mood, and increased energy levels. The most surprising advantage to my exercising is seen in my girls. They are being conditioned to take care of their own bodies. Many times, they jump in and workout with me. Our children mimic not only our bad behaviors, but our good ones as well. I’ve found I don’t have to feel guilty about taking time for me, especially when it directly benefits them. Besides, if we all looked at how much time we waste scrolling through social media—yes, that means you too—there is time to squeeze in a workout.

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Soon the kids will be home for Christmas break, so today, I thought I’d share some work out moves you can do with your children. Your time and a healthy Mom are two of the best gifts you can give your children this Christmas season.

1. Planks – kids love a challenge.  Put your elbows on the floor and raise up to your toes.  Pull your belly button into your spine and engage your abs.  See how long everyone can hold for.  Make it a week challenge and keep track, see who wins!

2. Weighted V-ups – Lay flat on the floor and pull your knees to table top position. Have your kid lay on your legs (like they are flying). Now pull your bellybutton into your spine, crunch up and try to kiss them. You could also stay with your back flat, legs in table top and raise your legs up with them still on. Remember to keep your lower back flat, if it creeps up that means you are going too high!

3. Squats. All my kids loves these. No matter how big they are I try to do some with them in my arms (the bigger ones need to be laying in my arms). Keep feet hip width apart, pull your belly button into your spine and lower yourself into your heels.

4. Bear crawls – Get on your hands and knees and lift your knees off the ground. Crawl one hand at a time and go backwards to where you started. See who can keep their knees off the “hot lava” the longest.

5. Burpees – who doesn’t love them? These will really get the kids energized. Get low in a squat and lower your hands to the ground. Jump your legs back into plank position. You can choose to throw in a pushup or not, jump your legs back towards your arms and jump straight up.

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It’s all about being creative. Kids can make anything fun, so try to think like them and ask them to join in whenever possible. You will be surprised at how much they enjoy exercising.

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Introducing our writer Prem Adams. If you’re finding it difficult to find that perfect gift for your loved one, why not consider a fitness gift card? Prem is now offering coaching gift cards for the Christmas season. If you’re interested in finding out more about her bootcamps or gift cards you can email her at mycolorjoy@gmail.com or follow her Instagram page@mycolorofjoy.