Childhood Pastimes That Will Keep You Fit

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It’s the start of the week, after a long weekend of overindulging, so of course my mind turns toward my fitness habits (or lack thereof). Why does staying fit have to be so hard? Why does it have to feel like so much work? Why can’t we just call up all of that energy and fun we had as kids to keep ourselves moving? Wait, maybe that’s what we should be doing.

I was recently invited to the launch of Reitman’s activewear line, Hyba, and the launch video reminded me that getting fit isn’t about holding the perfect yoga pose or running a marathon. Staying fit is about moving and moving can be fun. If you’re not into hitting the gym, why not call on what was fun when you were younger.

Fun, Effective Workouts

Here are five childhood activities to get you moving:

Jumping Rope

According to WebMD, the simple act of skipping rope can be a great cardio workout that helps tone your muscles at the same time. The equipment is minimal — a skipping rope — and you may even have a few of these in your outdoor shed. I’m not talking about speed skipping.

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If it’s been awhile, take it slow to get your bearing but the more you do it, the better your co-ordination will become, not to mention your stamina. When you’re up for the challenge, try skipping with the kids and see who can jump the longest, the fastest, backwards, one foot, well, you know where I’m going.

Spinning the Hula Hoop

Remember when you could swing that hoop around your hips for a good 30-minutes? We didn’t do it to stay trim but because it was fun. Now that fun activity can benefit your abdomen, buttocks and legs, all those areas that are constantly a problem for me. All you need is an adult size hoop, an open area and a little swing in your hips.

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When you’ve mastered the hips, try those creative moves we did as a kid, swinging it around one ankle, or your arm or your neck. You can also try the Hula Hoop, Super Hula Hoop and even Hula Dancing all without a hoop on your Nintendo Wii Fit U.

Running out a Good Game of Tag

One of my favourite games as a child had to be tag. We would be out in the neighbourhood for hours until the streetlights signaled it was time to head home. The obvious workout would be the running to avoid being caught and to race to “home base” but the thrill of avoiding the person who was it, ducking behind trees and under bushes, had our hearts racing just as fast. Outdoor games aren’t just for the kids. Next time join in. Here’s a great list of fun tag games to try out.

Hop, Hop, Hop a game of Hopscotch

This game isn’t as cardio intense as the ones mentioned above but it’s great for flexibility and balance. You can find premade hopscotch boards in most schoolyards and playgrounds or do what we did and create a super long hopscotch board. Try hoping on one foot to the number 100 and back. Maybe this game is more of a workout than I originally thought.

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Just Dance

Maybe a little after my childhood years but heading out with friends to go dancing was one of my favourite activities (and so much cheaper and more enjoyable than a gym membership). Then work, kids, and home life got in the way and a night at the club wasn’t a priority anymore. If I’m completely honest, I think I would feel too old to visit some of the local dance spots now. But Nintendo’s Just Dance lets me get my groove on, so to speak, and work up a sweat to a few classic songs and new favourites.

Hey, our Nintendo Wii U isn’t just for the kids’ videogames. Now I can take a break from work and turn on some tunes in the privacy of my home and I love it! The newest version of Just Dance 2016 (release October 20, 2015) enables you to use your smartphone instead of the Wiimote, making it even easier to start a game. Don’t think this type of dancing is a workout? Download a free demo to try for yourself. I think the kids will be impressed with my moves when I challenge them to a little dance competition. Just watching the video has me excited about adding this game to our collection. Yes, even mom can benefit from the family’s Nintendo WiiU gaming system.

If you’re looking at maximizing your video game investment, the Nintendo Wii Fit U will have you boxing, doing Kung Fu, rowing, hula dancing (my type of fitness) and even the Super Hula Hoop to keep you fit. That’s just a few of the mini games that will have you working up a sweat, no gym required.

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So staying fit doesn’t have to be a chore. Some of these activities from your youth will keep you moving, have you laughing and your kids will love the time you spend with them as a participant not as an observer. We are the best examples for our kids so why not show them being active and having fun is for life not just for childhood.

This post has been sponsored by Nintendo Canada but as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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