Jul 08

15 CRAZY Things Runners Say When They Talk to Themselves During Races

Runners are kinda strange people.  I can say that. . . I’m a runner.

We talk to ourselves.  I mean what else are we supposed to do during a 3, 4, or 5 hour race.

Here are the top 15 crazy things we say when we talk to ourselves during races.  Did I miss one? Share it below in the comments.

1. Seriously . . How the Hell is HE Passing Me?

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2. Smashing Water Cups Feels Pretty Bitchn’

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3. Yeah, I Should Have Worn the Band-Aids

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4. These Dumb Things Only Hold Like 1oz of Water . . . Now I Have to Carry This Belt for 24 More Miles

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5. I Paid HOW MUCH for This?

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6. Chicks Dig Marathoner

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7. Yeah . . . But I DO Get The FREE Shirt Right?

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8. The Race STARTS at Mile 20

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9. Dang . . .Everyone Else Is Wearing a Watch . . . Just Look at Wrist and Act Like I’m Pushing Buttons

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10. Maybe I Should Buy Shorter Shorts

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11. Hmm . . . Guess I Should Have Gotten Here Earlier

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12. Crap . . . I Should Have Used the Porta Potty 3 Miles Back

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13. So THIS Is “The Runners High”

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14. The Medal Better Be HUGE . . and My Friends Better be Jealous

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15. NEXT DAY: “Why Am I Signing Up For Another Race?”

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Did you enjoy this article?  Why not share it?

Did I miss something?  Share it in the comments below.

Photo Credits: Stephen Matthews, Alan StrakeysamwebsterRennett StoweZervasJeff MoriartyEdwin MartinezBrett WhaleyDamian, Nathan RupertTony AlterChris BarberMorten Siebuhr

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Jul 07

5 Tips for Finding the PERFECT Running Partner

For those runners who like running with a buddy  . . . you know how hard it can be to find the right running partner.

They are either too slow, too fast, not motivated enough, TOO motivated . . . or you just don’t get along.

I have always enjoyed running alone but Sandi kinda thrives on running with a partner.  When we first started dating we began to run together  . . . but this presented a big challange for us.

I was running an 18 minute 5k and Sandi was running over 30 minutes.    We had to get creative about running together and eventually more creative to help Sandi find running partners that were a perfect fit.

5 Surefire Places to Find a Running Partner

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  1. Meetup.com: Yes Yes . . . I know it sounds like a place for singles to meet and hang out, but Meetup is actually far different than that.  It is a place for people to post conferences, get together, and social gatherings for individuals with similar interests. Using this tool I was able to find over a dozen running or triathlon groups within 10 miles of my house.  There is a simple search function on the site and once you find a group you are interested in it is easy to learn more details about the group or to learn about upcoming meetings or runs.
  2. Facebook: Midst 374 invitations to play Candy Crush, and updates about all your friends babies . . . Facebook can actually be a productivity tool as well believe it or not.  With Facebook you can easily find out who of your local friends are runners . . . you can post on your page that you are looking for a running buddy and within no time you will have a partner.  You can also find virtual running groups where you can post your workouts and find motivation from your buddies.   BY using the search box and simply typing in “Running Group” you will be able to find events, groups, pages, and more that will guide you in the right direction.Screenshot-2014-07-07-16.32.26-e1404768953401
  3. Running Clubs:  RRCA or Road Runners Clubs of America is the top resource for finding a local running club near you.  Simply go to their site here click on your state and viola you will have a nice list of various running clubs in your area.  Generally these groups have free events you can attend to meet other runners and find a few that are about your pace.  Once you have a nice little buddy or group that run your pace you can plan training runs with them aside form the running group.  Its a great way to find a partner and friends that share your love for running.Screenshot-2014-07-07-16.38.31-e1404769455306
  4. Mans Best Friend: yes, a dog can be the perfect running partner . . . they won’t complain, they will always be ready on time, weather won’t stop them from going . . . and they will love you for taking them.  You don’t even need a HUGE dog to do this.  We had a little 10 pound yorkie a few years ago that was able to outrun me in a 5k.  With a bit of practice if a small lazy dog can enjoy running with you.  Researchers from University of Michigan found that on average dog owners are nearly twice as active and healthy as non dog owners: “Nearly half of dog walkers exercised an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. By comparison, only about a third of those without dogs got that much regular exercise”. New York Times
  5. The Track: Most towns have a High School or Middle school track with a nice field, track, and bleachers to do your workout on.  The benefit of running on a track is that running partners of different skill and speed levels can workout together.  We have a FREE GUIDE to Bleacher Workouts that you can download HERE

Finding a Track to Run On 

While it is hard to find a complete and accurate list of all school that have a track open to the public . . this tool here is great for finding local schools.  You an then either drive by or call them to determine if their track is open for use.

Likewise you can make a phone call to your local school district and ask if or when school tracks are open for use.

High School Finder

Screenshot-2014-07-07-17.15.12-e1404771557312They do “ask” for a lot of information on this tool but if you just put in Zip Code and distance you will get a result.

A huge benefit to track workouts is that you will generally find several other people out there running on the track each night.  Makes a great way to build accountability, friendships as you meet local runners, and a chance to find a running partner.

3 Benefits to Running with a Partner

Motivation:

In a recent study at the University of Santa Clara, researchers found that:

Exercising with someone more fit than oneself could promote a higher intensity workout,  participants gravitate towards the exercise behaviors of those around them. Even when all participants, regardless of experimental conditions, were instructed to exercise at a moderate level and keep their pulse rates within a particular range, they mimic the exercise behavior of their exercise partner.  -Journal of Social Sciences

 

 

So if you are wanting to AMP up your workouts . . find someone who is at an intensity and commitment level above yours.  This individual will lift your behavior and aid in elevating your workouts as you mimic their intensity.

Entertainment:

I don’t generally like working out with others . . . but when I do it is primarily for entertainment purposes.  Having a partner is a great way to break up the mundane miles and hours of running.   Even just jogging with your kids can help with this.

Every now and then it is good to get out of your own head and just talk with a friend.

Accountability:

Being open with another individual (friend, family, child) can help to create accountability.  Letting someone else know about your goals and asking for them to follow up will get you out the door on slow days.

Conclusion

By following these simple tips you will find yourself a workout partner in no time.  Do you have a partner that keeps you going? How did you find your workout buddy?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credits:  Thang Nuyguen, sangudo
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Jul 07

9 Foods You Shouldn’t Buy When You’re on a BUDGET (how many are in your fridge now?)

When shopping on a budget there are some foods that should be avoided for certain!  Living on a budget always has some give and take, but there are some things that should be more give and less take.  We talk a bit about fun food hacks here.

TV Dinners

These foods are usually high in fat and sodium and expensive.  Feed your family a balanced home cooked meal with rice, chicken, and a vegetable in season and you will save money and provide a healthier meal.

Soda

Soda has little to no nutritional value.  The calories, since in the liquid, form don’t tend to make us feel full.  This then leads us to consume more calories than we need.  It is unnecessary and has negative effect on our health.  Trust me I know it is tasty, but what else do I need to say.

Individually wrapped snack foods

It is much cheaper to buy one large bag of pretzels and bag ourselves then to buy the individually packaged snack food.  Take the time to portion snack foods out yourself and it will definitely help you to shave that grocery spending.

Brand named products

Generic versions of food are often made at the same plant and of the exact same quality as the name brands.  Slight variations in flavor may occur one product to another, but in general generic is a good tasty option.  This is a great money saver.  I make a few exceptions to this rule.  If the generic form is particularly higher in salt, fat, or any other nutrient you are trying to reduce then choose the least expensive product that meets your nutritional demands.

Candy bar

These incredibly tempting treats are impulse buys placed in the checkout line to tempt us into an unnecessary purchase.  They are high in fat and sugar and will not help with weight maintenance.  Impulse buys teach our children to make impulse decisions.  Impulse decisions don’t tend to be what’s best for us in the long run.

Gluten-Free

Unless you have an actual allergy to gluten, gluten free products are unnecessary.  They do not provide any nutritional advantage, and they usually cost more than their gluten-containing counterparts.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat.  It is strong and flexible and allows bread to maintain its integrity while it rises.  This is why breads made with wheat flower are soft and rise well.

Organic produce

Thoroughly washing produce will remove pesticides used during farming.  Produce with a peel that will be removed can be safely eaten.  Produce with small pores like berries may be best organic since it is difficult to clean thoroughly.  Always buy fruit in season to get the best prices.

Gourmet Pet food

If you can’t afford gourmet for you, you certainly shouldn’t be spending extra on a beloved pet.  They may deserve the world in your eyes, but your budget applies to your pets as well as you.  Find a product they will suitably eat that will meet their nutrition needs.  Don’t break the bank in the process.

Prime Rib

There are less expensive and lower fat ways to get protein in your diet.    Steak should not be a staple, but a special occasion.  Prime rib is a particularly expensive cut of meat.  Try a variety of fish, chicken, turkey, pork, and lean cuts of beef.

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Jul 05

7 4 2014

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 3 Kolaches, 6 olives

Lunch: 1/2 cheeseburger, 1/2 small french fries, 1 small vanilla milkshake

Snack: chips and guacamole

Dinner: 1 hot dog, 1/2 cup watermelon, 1/2 cup pasta salad, 1 corn on the cob

Snack: Brownie, 1 cup popcorn

EXERCISE:  

25 minutes on the stationary bike high resistance.  2 mile fast run.  On the way I met a bobcat.  I stayed as far away as I could, and it left me alone.  It still made me a bit nervous.

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Jul 04

7 3 2014

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 3 oz sliced cheese, 1 cup applesauce

Lunch: 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 18 grapes, 16 oz smoothie

Dinner: 1.5 cups Alfredo with chicken and broccoli, 3 slices multigrain bread, 1/4 cup strawberries

Snack: 1/2 cup pasta salad

EXERCISE:

I ran pushing the jogging stroller for a couple miles.  I met family at the track for an hour long workout.  I did 200 meter sprints with 100 meter jog in between for 3 miles.  I did one bleacher mile- ran up and down the bleachers 5 times each lap around the track.  Then I did 1 to 2 mile cool down.  It was a great workout.  The kids spent the time playing with their cousins at the track.  My 1-yr-old spent some time in the stroller and some time hanging out with family.

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Jul 03

7 2 2014

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 30 oz smoothies, 8 oz tomato juice

Lunch: 1 cup pecan cobbler,  2 steak tacos

Snack: 4 pieces cinnamon toast

Dinner: 4 oz lemon chicken, 2 mozzarella sticks, 1/2 cup fettuccine Alfredo, 1/4 cup broccoli

EXERCISE:  

I went to the pool and did 1350 m.  It was a speed day in the pool.  I did 400 m warm up, 8×100 easy, build, easy, hard, then 150 m cool down.  After the swim I hoped right on the bike and rode for 5 miles.  I trialed drinking water on the ride as soon as I got going.  I didn’t have any problems tolerating the water.  Good practice and learning for the real race.  

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Jul 02

10 Grossest Things about Running (that no one tells you about)

1. Porta-Potty Paradise

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Pre-race lines for porta potties would make you think these little green toilets are gold lined and have silk toilet paper. If you want to go potty before a race you better plan on arriving to a race about 6 hours early to claim your spot in line.

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2. Running Red (chaffing, diaper rash, jock itch)

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I thought diaper rash was for babies?  After my first marathon I couldn’t figure out what was happening to me . . . then I discovered the miracle of Vaseline and Destine. Runners love to slather this goop on like there is no tomorrow.

3. Medals of Honor (massive post race blistering)

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If you have ever spent time with a marathoner, the topic of blisters has come up.  But we don’t just talk about them . . . we compare.  The winner is the idiot who had the biggest blister . . . P.S. I beat my wife!

4. Um . . . . bleeding nipples

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Ever see a guy run his first marathon. He is easy to spot. He will be the one with blood gushing down his shirt where his nipples used to be.

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5. Marathon Pedicure (toenails falling off)

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A runners favorite nail polish color is black and blue . . . then its no nail!  Don’t worry they do grow back.

6. Snot Rockets (who needs Kleenex)

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We have learned to master the art of shooting snot from our noses.  One of the joys of running is watching the newbie learn the skill.

7. Nectar of the Gods (GU energy gel)

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What could be more delicious than nectar thick carbohydrates in the flavor of “cardboard and sandpaper”.  These little packets of joy are perfect for making it impossible to swallow or talk for the next 3 miles.

8. Who needs Porta-Potties (yeah . . . we pee our pants a little bit)

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Where else can adults pee their pants and no one points and laughs.  All in the name of shaving 20 seconds off the time my friend!

9. Runners Trots ( . . . and sometimes we poop a little bit too)

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So . . . I guess a few people didn’t arrive in time to wait in the 6 hour porta potty lines!!!

10. Dehydration . . . Overhydration . . . Heat Stroke

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You will either drink to little, drink to much, or run when its way to damn hot!  No worries . . . it will make a sweet story on your next training run!

Like this post?  How about sharing it with a fellow runner …

Image Credits:

Michael (a.k.a. moik) McCuldirvishCasey HelblingAndy CarvinDave HerholzThreeIfByBikeJohn Rees– EMR –GuyChristiana Care

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Jul 02

14 Must Have Accessories for Your Triathlon Bike (ultimate guide to bike accessories)

Biking is the most time consuming portion of any triathlon both in distance and in time. Learning all the ins and outs of how to tri bike can be an enormous challenge . . . add to that learning how to fuel yourself on the bike, how to change a tire, what the best water bottle is, etc only adds to that stress. No worries, we have compiled this list of the top triathlon bike accessories so that you don’t need to waste your time surfing the web.

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Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about any of this triathlon bike gear.  We do make a commission if you click on one of the links and make a purchase in Amazon.com . . . thanks!

Click on Any Product for More Details or to Buy Online

ACCESSORYAVERAGE CUSTOMER REVIEW
Ibera Lightweight Water Bottle Cage
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4.4
Bike Pack w/phone Case
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3.9
Bike Shoes, Pedals, Cleats51unh5MAYVL._SL250_4.0
Indoor Bike Trainer
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4.4
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 1. Ibera Extra Lightweight Alloy Bottle Cage

At only 29 g, this ultra-thin bottle cage is the one of the lightest bottle cages on the market. It is made from heat-treated aluminum alloy, which gives it the feather light weight. A typical bottle cage will weigh anywhere between 40g to 70g, nearly triple the weight of this one. It may be light, but still has to hold a bottle with ease. The unique oval design supports and strengthens its hold. The bottle will be securely in place while riding. This cage is perfect for in town riding or touring. It comes in two glossy finishes and two matte finishes. The dimensions of this cage are 4.5″ x 3″ x 3.5″. This one should not be used for rough road riding.

2. Profile Design Legacy Aerobar

The Aerobar is flowing proficiency, extremely lightweight, and provides great comfort. The Profile Design Legacy Clip-On Aerobar is created with a unique split extension and is a perfect addition for triathlon bikes. It has short armrest connections and can be customized into three mounting positions. The Legacy keeps things a step ahead, as the bars can be mounted to fit a person’s body type. It is a great alternative to the high cost bars carried by most bike shops.

3. Genuine Innovations Ultraflate Plus Tire Inflater

This tire inflator works with all CO2 cartridges. It doesn’t matter if it is threaded or unthreaded. A safety features includes a great trigger lock. This helps to prevent accidents and activation when unnecessary. Simply push on when using on a Presta and screw it on when using a Schrader. This pump is really simply to use, anyone can do it. To use, place the CO2 cartridge in the cup. Next, screw on the head and attach to valve. Lastly, unlock the safety latch and attach it to the valve stem. Simply pull the trigger and the air will be released. This inflator is so quick and easy, it ensures the rider will be back to riding in no time. Just what any triathlon rider needs for quick repairs on the road.

4. Multi-Function Bike Multi-tool Bicycle Tool Patch Kit 

This multifunctional bicycle tool allows bikers security that while they are on the road, they can take care of any issue. It comes with a patch kit and tire levers. All of this fits nicely in a carry bag. The 16 in one tool comes with Allen Keys ranges 2-6 and wrenches in 8, 10 and 15. The carrying case has a belt loop so that it can be easily transported. Of course no kit would be complete without the Phillips and Flat head screwdrivers.  Without a multi function tool it will be almost impossible to complete your tri bike accessories kit.

5. Continental 42mm Presta Valve Tube

The Continental standard valve tube is made to fit presta. The German made tube is seamless and has 42mm value length. Designed for 650c wheels, this tube fits most 18-25mm tires. This design offers roundness and enhanced reliability at the valve stem. Created with a butyl tube compound, it’s one of the best on the market.

6. Michelin Lithion 2 Road Tire

This 2 road tire is smooth and puncture resistant. It provides a comfortable ride and is 10 grams lighter than most tires. It has folding bead and overlapped 60 tpi. It is a great option for those who are on the road allot and need dependability.

7. Waterproof Bicycle Cycling Frame Pannier Front Tube Bag

Every biker knows that a tube bag is essential. This one is made from water resistant polyester and even has a clear PVC pouch for a mobile phone. The bag is reflective for night riding and can adjust to any bike type. Durable and roomy, this bag is a must have for the long distance biker.

8. Bicycle Bike Bag Top Tube Triangle Bag 

Storage space is always an issue when doing a triathlon but not anymore. The triangle saddle bag is water resistant and roomy. It will attach to the bike without any tools. It has a nice foam lining and a reflective strip for night riders. Made from water resistant polyester, it is an inexpensive option for storage.

9. BV Bicycle Strap-On Saddle Bag / Seat Bag

The Strap-on Saddle bag will easily attach to either the seat or post of the bike. It will hold keys, tools and patch kits. There are two sizes, medium and large and are completely expandable. It comes with reflective trimming for enhanced visibility at night. The taillight hangers provide the rider with additional safety, and they can attach large tools too.

10. 100 12 Function Cyclocomputer

Every biker needs a Cyclocomputer. They are not only affordable, but versatile. This one has twelve functions and is simple to install. Its water resistant nature makes having it outdoors no worries. It will not only track the current and average speeds, but also the distance and miles per hour. With a slew of options, this is a must have for the biker whose serious about their times.  This is one of the most needed important triathlon bike accessories you will ever buy.

11. Bell Javelin Time Trial/Triathlon Helmet

The newest portion in Bell’s speed successions is the helmet known as Javelin. It has an aerodynamic fuselage, and is intended to be both fast and ventilated for the rider. Fitting is easy with the ear flaps that make getting it on and off quick and easy.

12. Venzo Road Bike Cycling Bicycle Shoes & Pedals

Cycling Shoes are a must for the serious biker. These shoes have award-winning technology that helps to enhance performance. The quick dry material is breathable. The shoe is designed to be low-cut, as well as fast to get on and off. The flexible forefoot makes this a great shoe for biking.

13. Graber Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer

Adding resistance enhances the workout. This one has three difference levels to choose from, all with a PVC roller. It comes with a one year warranty and is the same amount of resistance used with Cycle Ops trainers.  This bike trainer is perfect for days that are too hot or too cold.  A great tri bike accessory for the serious trainer.

>>CLICK HERE TO BUY THESE ACCESSORIES ONLINE<<

Did I miss an accessory?  Share it below in the comments.

Image Credits: chuckwaters83 (title added)

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Jul 02

7 1 2014

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 2 Biscuits, 2 eggs, 2 sausage, 1 bacon

Lunch: tuna sandwich, 15 grapes, 1 cheese string, 1 oz cheez-its

Dinner: 2 chicken fajitas, chips and salsa, chips and guacamole

Snack: 4 slices cinnamon toast

EXERCISE:  

15 mile bike ride – some really big hills today.  Average pace on the bike has been about 13.5 mi/hr.

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Jul 01

Mastering the Family Walk (5 tips for amazing family walks)

Having children has been the excuse of many parents for weight gain in later years. In fact it has been found that women and men statistically start gaining weight at 38 and 44 respectively,  this of course coincides perfectly with the time that many parents start having multiple children.

Parents are also facing increased pressure to have fit kids, with this generation of kids being the first in history that is NOT expected to outlive their parents.  Yep, you heard that right . . . if you have children today there is a chance that they will not outlive you . . . due to . . . DRUM ROLL . . . obesity.  Below is a quote from a USDA Congressional Testimony in 2004:

In the past 20 years, the percentage of children who are overweight has doubled and the percentage of adolescents who are overweight has more than tripled. If we do not stem this tide, many children in this generation of children will not outlive their parents.  USDA

Its true kids are fatter, parents are fatter, and children may not even outlive their parents!  Fitness and health are FAMILY MATTERS it is not enough to assume that kids will make healthy choices on their own, and it is no longer acceptable for one member of the family to start a diet and exercise routine alone . . .FITNESS and HEALTH MUST BE FAMILY MATTERS.

Mastering the Family Walk

Walking a an activity that the entire family can do together.

  • An easy paced walk of 45 minutes can burn 202 calories.
  • Adults and children can both enjoy a walk.
  • It can help kids enjoy the outdoors.

Unfortunately as parents we get busy, we come home from work exhausted and tired and the last thing most of us WANT to do is head back outside with our kids who are crying or tired. In Texas it is usually over 95 degrees in the evenings during the summer and I generally have little motivation to get outside for a walk.

However, walking as a family provides a number of benefits that are hard to ignore. Zen Family Habits lists the following 5 benefits that walking as a family provides:

  1. Great exercise
  2. Nature is the best medicine
  3. Reconnect with spouse and kids
  4. Replace bad habits
  5. Engage your community/nature

With the obvious benefits it is clear that getting out with the family is a great way to exercise and spend a little time with the spouse and kids.

5 TIPS FOR MASTERING THE FAMILY WALK

  1. Be patient: realize that many children can be stuck in old habits. If you do not have a habit of walking as a family then expect for the kids to throw a fit in the beginning. Don’t give in to their resistance just continue with a “family walk routine” . . . soon enough your kids will begin to understand that this is the new norm and they will begin to look forward to your family walks.
  2. Provide a healthy snack: setting aside a special treat for walk times is a great way to get the kids out the door. Now you should make it a fun and healthy snack. For our kids we give them fruit snacks or fruit leather. This works to create a positive experience for them as we walk and it also allows them to have something to occupy their hands as we walk.
  3. Have a destination: set your walks aside as times that coincide with trips to places the grocery store, a friends house, church, the movie store, etc . . . this way your kids have a destination in mind and a goal set aside for the walk. We live about a mile a Neighborhood Walmart so we usually set this as our destination and we walk there to buy milk or fruit.
  4. Make it easy on yourself: having the right gear can make all the difference. This means using a stroller that fits your family needs, is easy to push, or having the right bikes for your kids. Taz uses a balance bike which, of course, we refer to as his BIG BOY bike. This generally gets him excited to get outside and show off how big he is. We also give Taz the garage door opener and tell him it is his “job” to open and close the garage door.  This gives him a purpose and a job on the walk.
  5. Make your kids a part of the process: If your kids are ANYTHING like mine than they have a mind of their own and love to think for them selves (a good thing later in life I’m sure). To help with this “gift” we try to include Taz in as much of the decision making process involved in going on walks as we can. We stop at a park on the way home, we let him bring a special toy, we bought him a special water bottle that he can spray on himself to cool himself off with when it is warm. Each of these things helps to allow him to feel like a part of the family decision making process and helps the walk go smoothly.

Starting any sort of new routine is hard. Getting kids out of the house and in the stroller or on the bikes can be especially hard if it is new for them. Don’t fret, don’t quit, just make the process fun and enjoyable for them and let them be a part of the fun. Bring music, bring snacks, bring toys, make being outside with the family an enjoyable process.

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