Celebrating an upcoming Disney trip is something we all look forward to — especially in our family!
This past December we went on our biggest Walt Disney World trip yet. We spent 11 days at WDW staying at Boardwalk Inn. Our trip covered the dates December 18-28, 2012 and included Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Christmas Eve breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and lots and lots of great food.
I stumbled across the idea of dinner & Disney movie nights almost 2 years ago now. I talked to my husband to see if it was something he was interested in doing as a family, and then we started them in October 2011.
So what exactly are these special movie nights you ask?? Pick a movie (we gave everyone turns at picking out movies) – some movies we owned, some we rented. Once a movie was picked, I would try to theme our dinner to the movie. For example, Beauty and the Beast takes place in France, so I would try and come up with something French. You can decorate if you would like, sometimes I did, other times I did not. Then we would watch the movie after dinner. Sometimes we would do a dinner & Disney movie night every weekend, other months we might only do 1 or 2, just depending on our schedule.
We still have dinner & Disney movie nights in our house — sadly, we do not have a family trip booked at the time, but the kids had so much fun with these, they asked if we could continue them.
Last night I was looking around some race websites, and I came across a 5K on July 4 that I am going to run.
I have already found a cute red, white and blue running skirt that I ordered this morning. Costumes are suggested for this race, but I don’t want to do anything too crazy (or hot!!)
Are you running a race over the 4th of July holiday?
We all know that people who exercise are healthier overall, so its no surprise that this would be any different for kids. Kids who exercise are not only healthier overall, but are more likely to make fitness a priority later in life.
Given the statistic that 30% of children in the United States are obese or overweight, if is more important now than ever to keep our kids active. But how should we do this? In a world where kids play hours on the computer or with game systems, it is often hard to get them doing something active — I know it is difficult with my older kids too.
Here are some ideas of fun activities to get your kids moving.
1. Set up obstacle courses in your backyard or at a local park. You can include a variety of activities like jumping rope, hopscotch, bike riding, hula hoop and Frisbee just to name a few.
2. We all know how much younger kids enjoy blowing and catching bubbles. Why not try this — blow the bubbles and have the kids catch the bubbles by doing a jumping jack motion.
3. Dancing is a great workout. To make this fun for kids, try doing “freeze dance”. Everyone will dance around (pick your kids favorite music), and after a few moments, pause the music and say “freeze”.
4. Swimming pool games can be a fun way to stay active (and cool!!) during those warm summer months. You could get a inflatable beach ball and have fun tossing it to each other and keeping it out of the water. For stronger swimmers, you could drop pennies in the pool and have kids fill up a treasure chest. Running in the water is also a great choice for a fun exercise.
5. Circuit training for kids can be a lot of fun. You can incorporate almost any sports drill, Yoga pose or exercise and this can be done indoors or outdoors. Set up 8-10 stations and alternate different exercises — cardio, strength, flexibility and balance exercises.
6. A game of tag can be fun for all ages. With younger children, when the child is “tagged” they can do a movement like an animal (crab walking, bird flying, snake slithering, etc). With older kids, you can clip several clothespins to your shirt and whoever gets rid of the clothespins first wins.
7. Kids Races are becoming more and more popular at racing events. These are fun events targeted towards the younger athletes in training. These events can give kids the chance to do something similar to what mom or dad might do.
8. There are a few video games out there that actually incorporate some exercise into them. Some of my kids favorites are Just Dance and Wii Sports Resort. They have fun exercising and don’t even realize it.
These are just a few ideas. Any activities we can use to entice our children to run, jump, push, pull, play, dance, balance, stretch, and let rip a little, bringing fresh blood to their muscles, looseness to their limbs, and alertness to their brains. Our kids are watching us everyday, we are their best teachers. Lets teach them to be healthy, active kids who can grow into healthy active adults.
What are some of your favorite activities to keep your kids active?
Now that I am all signed up for my first mud run, I have been researching and trying to come up with recommended training. Since a mud run incorporates running AND obstacles, it is important to train for both aspects of the race.
This information was taken from Philadelphia’s Magazine “Be Well Philly”.
In what ways is training for a mud run different than training for, say, a marathon?
In a way, the training is very similar. Anyone who has trained for a distance run knows the importance of working up to where you can do a run of 18-plus miles. When training for a mud run, the challenge is to simulate the race with training sessions that last as long as the race itself. A three-mile obstacle mud run takes many athletes 45 minutes to an hour to complete. It’s important to include not just running but also strength training in each workout. Mud runs, by the nature of what they are, test not only your running endurance but also your strength endurance.
Okay, so let’s talk running versus strength training. Is one more important than the other when it comes to training for a mud run?
You absolutely need to train for both, but one of the most common mistakes made by first-time mud runners is that they underestimate the amount of running involved; just because there are obstacles to focus on doesn’t mean the running distance is any less. That being said, both running and functional strength training are equally important. Functional strength training is a fancy term for strength, flexibility, speed and agility. I would focus on plyometrics (exercises that help build explosive power and speed, like box jumps, burpees and jumping lunges) paired with strength exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, planks and squats) with minimal breaks between exercises to build your cardiovascular endurance.
Besides the physical training, what kind of mental training should you do leading up to a mud run?
No matter how much you train, strength and speed will only take you so far in a mud run. These obstacle races also take a good amount of pure determination, since they will take most people out of their comfort zone and include moves you don’t typically incorporate into your gym routine. So heading into a mud run, you have to be mentally prepared to step outside of what you know and push through the challenges. Also, don’t underestimate the power of just having fun. Enjoying yourself while participating in a mud run will help you through some of the tougher obstacles even more than sheer determination.
In your experience, what is the one feature of the mud run that people find most intimidating?
The element of the unknown, especially if you’re a first timer. Most mud runs list the obstacles on their website so use that as a tool to guide your training. As long as you strength train while increasing your running distance, you shouldn’t have any problems. On race day, if you come across an obstacle you think you can’t do, ask for help, whether climbing a wall or a rope. The camaraderie of mud runners is amazing.
Do you have clothing suggestions for race day?
Wear something that is somewhat snug and fast drying and that you wouldn’t mind throwing away at the end. As far as sneakers go, wear what you trained in. Most races have a shoe donation pile at the end that will put those muddy kicks to good use instead of simply throwing them away.
So, with this race coming up in August, it looks like I will be increasing my Insanity workouts to really get the heart pumping as well as adding those awful burpees into the mix.
I always see friends posting on FB or Twitter about color runs, neon runs and mud runs. I decided I wanted to try out one of these “fun” runs and decided to register for a mud run.
So, last week I talked to my husband to make sure the timing would be ok with his schedule, and I registered for…
Dirty 30 Tulsa
1 day race + 2 charities + 5K + 7 tons of mud + 15 obstacles = The Dirty 30
Now, let me tell you, I HATE being dirty, so this is quite a stretch for me in going out of my comfort zone, but I am excited to do it. Then again, this whole running journey is out of my comfort zone, so I am proud of myself for wanting to push through the uncomfortable.
I am excited to participate in what has been called “Oklahoma’s dirtiest obstacle course”.
This race will be on August 10th, so I have a bit of time to do a little more cross-training to get me ready for it.
So, have you ever participated in a mud race? If so, do you have any advice for this newbie?
Every so often I will be sharing some of my FAVORITE gear — whether it be supplements, clothing, running shoes…who knows what I will share to be honest. Everything will be running and/or workout related is all that I can promise.
Today I will feature kettlebells.
I have only been working with kettlebells for about a year, but have quickly grown to love them. Once you get the hang of the different movements, its really quite a fun, yet challenging workout.
Kettlebells are a cast iron weight with a single looped handle on top. Kettlebells come in a variety of weights, I personally use an 8lb version.
Kettlebells are great because it provides whole body fitness. Kettlebells require you to focus on whole-body conditioning because lifting and controlling a kettlebell forces the entire body, specifically the core, to contract as a group, building both strength and stability at the same time. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups at once. Kettlebells are a great option for getting a whole body workout in a short time.
I personally use a Bob Harper kettlebell workout DVD, although there are many different ones on the market today, as well as many Fitness Centers offering classes using kettlebells.
Bottom line, a small piece of equipment that is versatile and I can do this workout at home — A+ option for me!
As a family of 6, including a pre-teen who can eat…and eat…and eat, it is important to me to be able to keep healthy food options in the house for both mealtime as well as snacks.
Here are a few tips for healthy eating on a budget.
Why drink sugary sodas, juices and energy drinks that offer little or no nutritional value when you can drink milk, a nutrient rich drink that provides calcium, vitamins A and D, protein and much more!
Canola oil is one of the healthiest oils out there. Its cheaper than olive oil and provides the same heart healthy benefits. It has the lowest amount of saturated fat than any other oil. Canola is an extremely versatile oil. Use it for stir fries, vinaigrettes, or marinades or try it as a substitute for butter when baking cakes and bread.
Long-Grain Brown Rice
Brown rice is very inexpensive and adds a nutty flavor as well as all the benefits of whole grains.
Instead of buying chicken piece by piece, plan menus to include meals that use legs, thighs, and breasts all on different nights. Or, roast a whole chicken to eat for a few days.
Pick up seasonal produce from your grocery store or local farmers market. Seasonal produce is generally more affordable and they taste the best.
Beans and legumes are packed with nutrition. Soaking beans may take more time, but in the end you will end up with less sodium compared to canned varieties.
Source Cooking Light
I don’t know about you, but I sure do love smoothies! Something about a refreshing smoothie on a warm summer day.
We have lots of smoothies in our house. My kids enjoy them as a healthy dessert after dinner, and I find myself making them often in the morning for a healthy breakfast alternative.
What you need —
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup ice
Blend all ingredients until smooth and garnish with 1 pineapple chunk if desired
Tip – Save time with frozen or pre-cut pineapple
79 calories for this tropical smoothie
This little treat will satisfy that sweet tooth without hurting your waist line that you have been working so hard for with these summer months approaching.
What you need —
1 piece each kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple
Skewer the fruit and drizzle with 1 tsp. Hershey’s chocolate syrup
I am EXCITED to be a Brand Ambassador for a new company, Swirlgear.
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As a Brand Ambassador for Swirlgear, I can offer you a discount code for FREE SHIPPING on any order! Just enter code 925 at checkout!
Also, be on the lookout for the new fall line coming in September which will include tanks, capris, etc.