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Outer Limits: How Getting OUT Can Help Get The Family IN Shape

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Rod Stewart may be crooning about it being “Cold Outside” in order to convince his “sweetie” to stay indoors, but fitness experts encourage families to get out and get moving. Plus, they note it’s an ideal way for kids of all ages to build their family bond while building muscle and good health practices.

1. A Phat Way To Burn The Family Fat: Instead of chewing the fat, consider shooing the fat (away) with this his-energy family workout that promises to help you shed up to 350 calories.

· Start by warming up to the idea with a warm-up consisting of a 5-10 minute stroll (around the park or neighborhood). Don’t worry about working up a sweat, just focus on getting your body and your muscles moving.

· Next line up in a single fine and start picking up the pace of your strut. The person at the back of the line should jog up to the front and take the lead, then the next person, and the next until each have lead the line three times.

· Line up in a row and designate a landmark about 50 yards away. All together now, start skipping toward you mark and wait for everyone to get there, then turn around and skip back.

· Consider doing a little side step. Have the family line up in single file approximately 50 yards from a specific spot and then have everyone turn sideways. Starting with the first person in line have each person squat down as low as each can go and side-shuffle toward the landmark, with the next person in line starting when the person in front is at the halfway mark. Keep shuffling until everyone completes three rounds.

· Upon completing the side shuffles slow the momentum down a bit with another sideways motion known as the grapevine. Step your right foot in front crossing your left foot, then step to the side with your left foot and move to the side by crossing your right foot over. Keep repeating this motion toward your landmark and until each member (of the family) completes three rounds.

· About face: Turn forward and lift knees to chest while simultaneously pumping arms.

· Now, sit in a circle and bend knees with feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Put your hands on the ground by your side on either side of your tusch. Press down; lifting your butt and suspending yourself on your palms and feet, making sure your back is parallel to the ground. Lead the circle in kicking one leg then the other toward the center of the circle, 10 times with each leg.

· Finally, stand in circle and touch your toes, stretch your back and swing your arms for about 5 minutes to cool down and finish your workout.

2. Speed Up Your Metabolism: Boosting metabolism helps build muscle (and strength) and helps you burn more calories even when you decide to just relax.

· Again, get that body moving by walking around the neighborhood for about 5 to 10 minutes.

· Just like in the (previous) fat-burning workout, have the family line up in a single file and begin a brisk walk, with each member taking a turn jogging to the front and leading the line. Do this until each person has led the line three times.

· Ask the family to line up in a row with their feet hip-width apart and hands clamped behind their backs. Lean forward from the hips (just a few inches) and walk forward with your right foot. As you place your right foot down, bend both knees ensuring that your right thigh is parallel to the ground and that your left thigh is perpendicular to it. Repeat with left leg. Continue for a total of 10-15 times on each side.

· Take a few steps back. Have the family line up in a row with feet approximately at hip distance and have each person place their hands on their hips. Step back with your left foot bending both knees until your left thigh is perpendicular to the floor and your right thigh is parallel to it. Stand up, and repeat with the right leg, alternating for between 10 and 15 reps on each side, for two sets.

· Divide the family into groups consisting of one adult and one child. If there’s not an even number of persons have the children alternate with the adult(s). Have each child squat down facing down, balances on toes and palms (back straight) so that the adult (or older sibling) can grab him or her by the ankles lifting the legs up. Allow the child to walk on his or her hands about 50 feet, then back again. And, give each child two turns.

· Get ready to “throw in the towel”. Get the family into pairs and assign each pair a towel. Sit on the ground facing each other, legs outstretched with knees bent slightly. Have each person get a firm grip on the towel, with one person pulling the towel, while the other resists. Reverse the procedure. Remember to keep backs straight and shoulders down. Repeat for 10=-15 rows per person.

· Give yourself that extra push. Have each family member do two sets of 10-15 pushups (or modified pushups).

· Cool down by having your family stand in a circle and engage in some stretches, toe touches and arm swings for between 3 and 5 minutes.

3. Go or a Brain and Body Boost: Working out your mind and your body is a great way for the whole family to get into shape and distress.

· Start with a routine warm-up by leading the family in a 5-10 minute stroll around the block, neighborhood or park.

· Again, have the family form a single file and pick up the pace of the walk, asking each member to take turns jogging to the head of the line and leading the brisk gait. Make sure each person get to lead the line three times.

· Find a sturdy landmark such as a tree, park bench, etc. Ask each (family) member to keep legs straight and to place their arms against the surface leaning into it until they feel a stretch through the back of the lower legs. Hold for 30 seconds; take a short break and repeat.

· Gather in a wide circle, with everyone facing each other. Step to the side with your right leg, knee slightly bent, and turning your torso in the direction your knee is facing. Put your hands on your right thigh and gently alternate your weight forward until a stretch in the back of the left thigh and the top of the right thigh is felt. Hold 30 seconds, relax, and repeat.

· Remain in a circle standing with feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward with your right leg, keeping your knee straight, and lifting your toe upward, until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat.

· Staying in the circle, keep feet hip-width apart and your knees bent a few inches. Pull stomach muscles in slightly, simultaneously leaning forward from your hips. Put the palms of your hands on top of your thighs and gently round your back upward holding for 5 seconds, then arching your back for 5 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

· Remaining in your circle, stand tall clasping your hands behind your back. Slowly raise your arms behind you until you feel a stretch through your chest, shoulders, and arms. Take a deep breath and hold for 30 seconds.

· Now sit (down) in your circle and ask family members to face each other with knees pulled up to the chest and hands wrapped around shins. Press hands gently into shins, pulling up through the spine. Close your eyes and breath deeply for up to 3 minutes, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Outer Limits: How Getting OUT Can Help Get The Family IN Shape

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