4 Tips for Getting Kids Active

All kids are different and have their own unique personalities with very specific likes and dislikes.  Some will gravitate towards athletics or have a natural ability for a sport, others prefer to read a good book, or can have a natural ability for math or science.  Whatever your child's natural ability or focus is, as parents, of course we want to encourage our kids to follow their dreams.  

As parents, we also want the best for our kids and we want them to be healthy.  We all know that too much time in front of a screen creates a sedentary lifestyle and we don't want that for them or for us! So what can we do to encourage our kids to be more active, without making them hate us for it?  

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When I started running half marathons and obstacle course races, my kids became curious.  Why was I coming home drenched in sweat while they were barely waking up? Why did we suddenly have a big tractor tire in our backyard? What was a PR? Why did I need something called GU (gross!)? So, I showed them.  They come to most of my races and are my biggest cheer group! They come to boot camps and sometimes they join in on some of it.  I got them involved in my new found passion for running and my excitement became contagious.  Soon, they were joining me on short runs around the block.  They were setting goals for themselves to beat, their own Personal Records.  We made up little boot camp style workouts for them in the backyard and eventually we signed them up for some of their own races and then they had to "train"! Then came race day and they were stocked to receive their own medals and see all their hard work pay off.  


Tips for Getting Kids Active

  1. Lead by example.  Show excitement about going for a run or working out.  If you complain about having to workout, there's no way they're going to want to join you.  As the saying goes, you don't have to workout, you get to workout! Keep a positive mindset for your own activities because those little ones are always watching us :)
  2. Get them involved.  Ask them to join you for a run, if running is your thing.  Get yoga DVDs that are kid-friendly and do them together.  Go to the park and play basketball together.  Plan hikes as a family.  Whatever gets them excited about being active!  
  3. Reward them.  Set goals together and when they reach them, give them a reward.  It doesn't have to be anything outrageous, just something that will keep them motivated to keep going.  
  4. No pressure! Don't make it a chore for them.  It should never be about punishment, but rather something they look forward to regularly.  Keep it fun, change it up a bit, and go with the flow.  

It's not always easy for us.  One kiddo likes it better than the other.  They still fight and tease each other sometimes during our family runs.  They can be competitive, even with the almost 4 year age gap.  But, as parents we just keep encouraging them.  I keep inviting them on runs with me and sometimes they don't want to and I don't make them.  Other times they ask to join me on their own.  It's not perfection but they are more active than they used to be and now they are really understanding the importance of taking care of their bodies.  

Do you have any tips on how you got your kids excited about exercise? Let me know in the comments.  I'd love to hear them :) 

Terrain Racing 5K | Our First Family Mud Run

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Back in October, my family and I ran our first mud run together.  We ran the Terrain Racing 5K here in Las Vegas and it was epic. Both kiddos have done the Kid Spartan races, kids Dirty Dash races, and have participated in a runDisney kid 1 mile race and fun 5Ks like the Bubble Run.  So they are definitely not strangers to running, obstacles, and getting dirty! But, this was the first 5K mud run and it was the first time we'd all participated together, as a team.  

They were so excited to be a part of the race and run alongside us and other adults.  This was a pretty tough race and they did so well.  They climbed walls and cargo nets that I thought were pretty high and scary.  They trudged through muddy water, flipped tires, carried sand bags, and went up and down some pretty steep hills.  They did it all with so much determination and courage. They never gave up.  They tried all the obstacles and hardly needed any assistance from us.  Jason and I were so proud of them.  I think the best part was having so many other runners come up alongside them and cheer them on, especially Elysse, who was so tiny compared to everyone else out there! I could see how good and empowered it made them feel.  

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 I'll admit, I was a little nervous that there might be whining or bickering out there but we all kept it cool and got along great!  The kiddos didn't fight and actually encouraged each other to keep going. We seriously had the best time! I can't wait to run another race together as a family.  I would most definitely recommend running a race or participating in an event as a family.  I just wish we would have done it sooner.  

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It's great to get the kids involved in staying active and setting some healthy fitness goals.  Come back Thursday for tips on how to get the kiddos excited about exercising and running races! 

2016: A Year in Review

Hey remember me? Yea, it's been a hot minute since I blogged. OOPSY! These past 2 months away from the blog has shown me that I really do love blogging. Coming here and sharing our family travels, the ups and downs of life, and having a place to log my running and staying accountable to my fitness goals is really important to me.  So why did I take a blogging break? Because I got lazy.  That's the plain and simple truth about it.  And it cost me.  Not being accountable with my fitness goals these last few months has definitely left it's pounds, um, I mean mark.  No, really, the pounds came on too!  Plus, I missed having a place to share and update on what's been going on in this messy life of mine.  

But, this isn't a blog post about regrets and feeling sorry for myself.  With a new year, comes a clean slate and I've had some time to meditate on what it is I want to focus on with this blog and I plan on sharing lots of great things in the coming weeks and months.  I hope you stick around around for the ride.

Before we get started on making It's a Messy Life better than ever in 2017, I want to look back at all the fun and adventures we had in 2016.  

The biggest thing for us in 2016 is that we purchased our home!  After living in Las Vegas for 7 years, we finally decided to plant some roots.  Although purchasing our home seemed to take up most of our time and resources this year, it was a great decision and we're excited to be homeowners! I look forward to sharing more from our home, as we decorate and make it our own. 

2016 also marked our 20th wedding anniversary in August! My family threw us a sweet 1920's theme anniversary party at my sister's house and it was such a fun time.  And, Jason and I decided to put off the bathroom remodel in the house and take ourselves on an epic adventure to Peru!  We took off without the kids for 8 days and crossed off a few things from our bucket list, including visiting Machu Pichu! I can't wait to share more from our trip soon and share tips and tricks to traveling outside of the country.  

Aside from these 2 major events, I also ran the LA Marathon in February.  This was my first full marathon. 26.2! I was so grateful to have my family there cheering me on!  You can read the recap HERE and check out the fun we had afterwards too exploring LA with the kiddos on THIS blog post.  

In other running related news, I  finished the year with a pretty low milage of 327.30 yearly miles. Although it was not a year full of a ton of races, the races I did run were great.  I especially loved running the Terrain Mud Run 5K as a family! I just realized I didn't blog about that, so be on the look out for that race recap, along with some pretty funny pics of my kiddos in mud ;) For more race recaps of 2016, go HERE

As a family, we had a pretty fun year too! We went on our 2nd annual summer camping trip to Lake Navajo in Utah.  We traveled to LA twice and Ventura Beach.  We saw the super bloom at Death Valley, enjoyed seeing it snow up in Mount Charleston in December, we spent lots of spring and fall afternoons hiking Red Rock Canyon, and visiting the water parks this summer

Although it was a stressful and busy year (yeah, I know, which year isn't, right?) I still think 2016 was noteworthy and we can always find some good in every season of our life.  I hope you also took the time to reflect on this past year and were able to find the good in it too!  

XO - Jessie