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Game Plan for Parents at Kids’ Sports Events

December 11, 2014 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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If your children are enrolled in organized sports or activities, you’re likely familiar with the travelling to gymnasiums, fields, and arenas on weeknights and weekends for practices and tournaments. When your kids are on the field, are you sitting and watching? Reading a book, or checking emails on your smart phone? While the little ones are benefiting from being active, why can’t you!? Here are ways to be active while at kids’ sporting events:

Playing Fields: Be it soccer, baseball, or football, fields are a great environment for activity. Try walking or a walk-run program (e.g., walk 5 minutes, run 1 min, repeat 4-8 times) around the field during practices or games. The best part is you can watch and cheer on your child while reaping the benefits of aerobic exercise.

Arenas: Stay warm by walking the perimeter of the rink or up and down the stairs. Or, try doing body weight exercises on the seats, like knee extensions and triceps dips.

Gymnasiums: If trampolining isn’t for you, ask an instructor if there is a nearby exercise room you can use. Or, ask a fellow parent to watch your child so you can take a brisk walk outside and offer to do the same in return.

Trips: Physical activity may be more challenging if you’re travelling for a tournament, but having your own game plan can make being active easier. To get you started:

  • Pack sneakers, shorts and a t-shirt. Save space by rolling up your shorts and t-shirt and stuff them in your shoes.
  • Choose a hotel with an exercise room or pool if possible, and schedule time for a quick workout to get your heart rate up and stress level down.
  • Download a running app on your smartphone to find safe walking and jogging routes in the town you’re visiting.
  • If you’re travelling by plane, walk around the airport and through the plane’s aisles for a quick stretch. Simple ankle pumps and circles are also beneficial for long flights – If travelling by ferry do a few laps of the deck; it’s a great view. Getting up and walking will keep the blood moving and limbs limber. 

While your kids are being active, so can you – consider it “two birds, one stone”. Remember, the whole family benefits from physical activity!

Related Blogs:

Fitness on the Road
Healthy Workplace Month: Traveler's Edition

Recommended Resources:

HealthLinkBC: Fitness: Staying Active When You Have Young Children
participACTION: Five ways to stay active while on the road

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