A good friend of mine recently asked me why I don’t post about fitness and health more often. After all, I exercise 3-4 times a week, I cringe when I think of all the “at the desk” time kids spend in school, and my husband and I value participation in athletics for our children for multiple reasons (hmmm. That’s a great future post topic!) Yet, I don’t often post about health and fitness.
Why not. Well… I’m not certain. A part of the reason is that if I start writing about health and fitness more often, I’m afraid it will become more of a job and less of a hobby. Also, I don’t have a professional background to share sound advice. Still, friends often ask what routines I like best, and how I’ve created my own fitness routine. And I’ve certainly spent time researching the impact of fitness in kids’ learning as well as how to help children strengthen their core and posture.
This post serves two purposes: to share products that do encourage movement for all ages for this holiday season, and to share a goal for next year. In 2014 I’ll begin to add a health and fitness element to Julieverse. I’m not sure how often I’ll post about the topic, nor am I certain if I’ll post more about kids’ health or my health or talk about routines I’m trying… or what. But I do see personal fitness as important in every mom’s and every child’s life and it is important to bring that into the discussion.
All that said… here is my 2013 Best Gifts to Get Moving Gift Guide
For the kids…
Product Description: Get ready for the performance of a lifetime with Hedbanz Act Up. This fast-acting family game will have everyone rolling with laughter. Each player draws a Game Card and matching colored headband. Once everyone has drawn a random card it’s time find out if you’re a “place”, “person”, or “thing”. The Guesser will roll the dice and whoevers color turns up has to start Acting Up. Start the timer and watch the Actors actions closely as you guess what’s on your head. Am I a Museum? Spider-Man? An Earthquake? Hedbanz Act Up is the ultimate family night fun for 2-6 players ages 8+. Act fast with the fast-acting game of Hedbanz Act Up.
Julieverse says: I know… for years I laughed at the original HeadBanz game and swore we would never buy it because it was something we could make at home. But then my husband did… and then Middle started playing at school and then, finally, I tried the Act Up version at TypeA Conference this fall. We moved, danced, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed this game. And the kids are having just as much fun acting out these cards as the adults.
Product Description: Shoot arrows over 125 feet.-Left or right handed.-Stick anywhere zartz arrow, bounce back action arrows.-Ages 8+. Includes: -Includes bow, two red X long range arrows one arrow zartz and zip clip to hold arrows. Disclaimer: -Warning: Do not aim at eyes or face, do not aim or shoot at people or animals. (Zing Bow & Arrow set was provided as a sample.)
Julieverse says: For a while I avoided these toys, because who needed to add archery or riflery into their homes? But my kids love archery at camp in the summer and I can see how practicing this sport truly encourages focus, balance and core skills.
Air Hunterz Mega Target by Zing retails for just $15.99 at Amazon.
Clinics & Sports Equiment
Julieverse says: Whether your kid’s favorite sport is swimming, soccer, baseball or gymnastics (or anything else for that matter) clinics and equipment make great gifts for kids. This year, my oldest has asked for soccer clinics so that he can improve his skills. I’m happy to drive him to class once a week, because I know he’ll be moving, focusing, and gaining skills that he enjoys. Clinics and updated equipment are a great gift to request from family.
This fall, as Big started playing soccer, he found he wanted an opportunity to practice skills on his own in the afternoons. He took his own money to Dick’s and found the SKLZ Star Kick Solo Soccer Trainer to be exactly what he wanted. This was my introduction to Sklz, a company that makes inexpensive products to help all ages practice and improve their skills in a variety of sports.
Follow the link to a listing of their products available, which include soccer, baseball, basketball and more: Sklz Sports Practice Equipment
Yoga Kids DVD
On a cold or rainy day, there are definitely times that my kids benefit from movement. If you have little ones, then pop in the Yoga Kids DVD for about 20 minutes of stretching and moving. Our favorite is Yoga Kids, Vol. 2: ABC’s for Ages 3-6 and YogaKids, Vol. 3: Silly to Calm is a great one as well. Grab a kid-sized Yoga Mat like YogaDirect Fun Yoga Mat For Kids to make this gift more special.
By the time we’re adults, we generally know which sports we like, so if you’re giftee is a golfer, get him something for golf. If she’s a runner, hit a running store (or just go to Athleta for anything movement.) I’ve mentioned it before, there is nothing more encouraging than new workout clothes.
Product Description: Fitness means being active, sleeping well, and eating smarter – and Fitbit One helps you do all three. During the day, it tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed. Come nightfall, it measures your sleep cycle to help you see how to sleep better, and it can even wake you in the morning without waking your partner. Your stats upload wirelessly via computer, or select mobile devices (like the iPhone 4S). Powered by your stats, you can set goals, and track progress with charts and graphs. Stay motivated by earning badges or connecting with friends for support or friendly competitions. Log food, work-outs and more. Bring greater fitness into your life – seamlessly, socially, 24 hours a day.
Julieverse says: I bought my own Mother’s Day present this year, and I’d do it again. I love my fitbit. Talk about motivation to move, I’m constantly tracking and trying to beat my goals–I find myself running up and down the stairs at 11:30 at night to reach my stair-goals. I even installed the supplemental app to keep me going. I have the FitBit One because I just can’t see wearing the FitBit bracelet as an accessory–it would get in the way of my style. I can hid the FitBit one under nearly all of my dresses and in pockets of my pants. Much more my style.
Product Description: Hand X Band was specifically designed to exercise & strengthen your expanding muscles, balancing all of that over-gripping. Hand X Band is compact, durable & easy to use. Hand X Band will help you strengthen your expanding muscles correcting the imbalances caused by over-gripping.
Julieverse says: If you’re gifting a golfer, a tennis player, weight-lifter or anyone who sits and types all day, and HandXBand is a great stocking stuffer or gift addition to exercise muscles that are very often forgotten.
Product Description: Featuring an ergonomically contoured, multi-density footbed for exceptional shock absorption and long-term support; stain resistant leather and mesh-uppers with colorful accents, and a durable, slip resistant outsole, our sporty lace up is your perfect dashing, darting, cheering, touring, walking… “Let’s go!” shoe. Lightweight, supportive, comfortable and fun-to-wear –it’s everything you ever wanted a sneaker to be.
Julieverse says: Yes, shoes. Sneakers or walking shoes, actually. I’ve learned that it really does help your body to have shoes for the different exercising you do. Which means I now have dance sneakers and running shoes (which I use on the Eliptical) and cross training shoes for other gym classes, like step. This season, I added a pair of Shayla Sneakers from Dansko to the collection when they were sent as a sample. They’re the perfect shoes to wear for everything not at the gym–walking, touring, living life as a mom in comfort. They’ll make an excellent walking shoe for the mom who needs a little encouragement to get up and get moving– the cushioning and form-fit is fantastic.
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