Happy and Healthy
Q: We're heading
to Grandma's house for Christmas this year. It's a two-day trip
by car. We have two kids under 10 years old and it is always a
challenge to keep everyone happy and healthy on the road. Do you
have any ideas for games that will get us moving and foods that
will keep us healthy?
A: Over the
hills and though the woods, to Grandma's house we go. Sounds so
serene and pleasant, doesn't it? Compare that with today's crazed
journey across states in cramped cars filled with kids, gifts
and the family dog. It's no wonder we get a little harried by
the thought of travel.
How will you keep your sanity on the trip to Grandma's house this
holiday season? Here
are some ideas to help you stay active, healthy and calm while
1. Stay active: Busy kids don't have time for fighting
and busy parents don't have time to notice the time drag on. For
a group workout, lead the family through these seated exercises:
stretch and strengthen
Sit up tall, roll your shoulders back and stretch. Circle your
head to stretch out your neck. Raise one hand towards the ceiling
and pull it down and slightly back -- with the focus on the
middle of your back. Feel the stretch. With a little added pull
you can feel the muscles in action. Repeat this five times,
switch arms and do it on the other side.
Reach both hands forward and grab on to the seat in front of
you or the dash. Round your back, slightly pulling against the
seat or dash for resistance. This is a nice gentle stretch.
Legs and buttocks
Extend your legs so that they straighten. Put some muscle into
it by resisting the movement. Repeat on each side several times.
Bun squeezes may look a little funny, but that's part of the
fun. Just tighten your thigh and buttocks on each side, hold
for 10 seconds. Then do the other side. Repeat.
Point your toes so that they push on the floor. This will tighten
your claves. Press up several times on each side.
Try sitting abdominal crunches. While seated, tighten your abdominal
area and tuck your chin towards your chest and crunch. Breathe
Be creative with your travel workouts so that you can enjoy
2. Stay healthy: Pack up plenty of healthy snacks for the
trip so you won't be tempted by fast food joints. Try these car
- Celery sticks with
- Pre packaged applesauce
- Boxed raisins
- Bottled water
- Sliced Cheese
If you need to stop for food, pick a restaurant with a low fat
faire. Sub shops are a good option or grocery store delis.
3. Stay calm:
Play soothing music that you all enjoy. For every two hours of
travel allow 30 minutes for quite time with no music, games or
talking. Set up your rules for travel before hitting the road
so that everyone knows the game plan.