Get Your Kids Off the Couch and Into the Great Outdoors

Summer is here and the kids are glued to their screens, watching 24-hour cartoon channels, playing games or cruising the internet. If they greet you with groans and wonder why when you tell them to get outside and enjoy some sunshine, you could try the old “because I said so” method, or you could try some of these ideas and get them both outside and having fun.

Issue a Challenge

Most kids can’t resist a challenge! If you don’t want to fuel sibling rivalry (and who does?) make the challenge kids versus parent. It won’t hurt you to get off the couch a bit this summer and enjoy some sunshine. Some ideas for simple challenges include:

Who can log the most time or miles on the bike? Plan family CrossFit workouts done in the driveway or backyard for fun.

Break out the sidewalk chalk and challenge the kids to a game of hopscotch. This is an oldie but a goodie.

A sandbox challenge! Who can build the best castle, the longest moat or just the tallest pile?

OMG – Need some inspiration as to what Kids can do – Check this video out!

Take the Video Games Outside

A few boxes, a bit of wood, and your kid can turn your backyard into their very own live-action video game. Create your own Angry Birds-style obstacle course with empty boxes and bean bags for the birds. Act out a shoot ’em up game with some water guns. Hang up a tarp and paint targets on it for the kids to hit. If you let the grass get a bit too long, consider mowing a maze in it for the kids to run through – creating your very own backyard puzzle game.

Don’t Leave the Tech Behind

Geocaching used to be just for the lucky few with a handheld GPS device, but now most of us have a handy GPS unit built into our smart phones. You follow GPS clues to find the hidden geocache, like one great big techno-treasure hunt. There are caches hidden everywhere, from the city park to your favorite remote hiking trail. You can probably even find some hidden within a block or two of your home. Remember basic geocache rules and etiquette before you set out:
Never go onto private land to place or find a cache without the owner’s permission.
Keep a cache hidden! Don’t draw attention of passers-by when locating or hiding a cache, otherwise someone not involved in the activity may take or damage the cache. Never tell the exact location of the cache, either!
Leave a cache better than you found it. Replace worn out items and never take an item that isn’t meant to be taken. Keep a few extra ziplock bags on you so you can waterproof items if the cache has sprung a leak.
Always replace the cache exactly as you found it. Avoid the temptation to move it to a better hiding spot, because that will just make it more difficult for the next person to find and may result in a lost cache.

Bribe ‘Em

When all else fails, bust out the bribery. The kids want TV? Give them 30 minutes for every hour the spend outside. Stock up on some inexpensive summer toys – sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a new kite. Deliver these items with great ceremony throughout summer to infuse a bit of excitement into the prospect of wandering outside for a bit.

Of course, the most effective bribe of all is time with YOU. Cook outside with the kids, run through the sprinklers with them, even take a favorite board game out to the patio to play together. When it comes down to it, kids model what their parents do. If they see you outside, they will want to be there, too

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How Watching The CrossFit Games Is A Role Model To My Kids

As a parent, I strongly believe in the old saying “action speaks louder than words” , BUT I also like relaxing and watching TV watching sport… maybe even sipping a beer … So how can it work?

I am hope you will agree kids these days spend WAY too much time in front of screens –  childhood diabetes and obesity are all shocking reminders of the iWorld in which we live.

So how can I justify sitting in front of a screen myself and be confident that I am showing my kids by example, that I am doing the right thing?

Two things I think help my case (At least this is what I tell my wife).

1) When I am watching this years CrossFit Games I will be pointing out all the awesome roll models that Crossfit produces – men and women.

2) I am doing CrossFit myself at home, and started looking for the best shoes for CrossFit and started buying some equipment for a home gym – now my two kids are part of the story too and I try and include them.

What are the CrossFit Games you ask and why have they become, according to Forbes magazine, one of the fastest growing sports in America?
The CrossFit Games are an attempt to find the fittest athlete on earth and is also a very thrilling experience for spectators. These games are known the world over for being the most grueling physical tests using the world’s toughest athletes.
The games began in 2007, and according to Forbes, is now “one of the fastest growing sports in America.” The goal is simply to find the greatest athletes.
Filling a void, the CrossFit Games were created because there was no other really true test of fitness. Other athletic events that we are accustomed too – such as the NFL or various triathlons – do not truly test fitness, sometimes even neglecting it
These games consist of a broad range of functional movements, moving large loads for long distances and at a quick pace. The core of the CrossFit Exercise is designed to test the fitness of an athlete as opposed to training.The CrossFit Games are broken down into three stages.
The Open – five week worldwide competition that kicks off in the early spring;

Regionals – second stage for the top athletes; a three day competition;

Reebok CrossFit Games – participants number about 100 and compete to be the fittest in the world;With The Open, everyone around the world is invited to participate.

They may also post their scores online in real time. For every open workout to count, it has to be validated. Athletes competing in The Open can validate by either working out at a local affiliate or submitting a video. Competitors will be judged both regionally and worldwide.

The top athletes in five separate age divisions will be invited to compete in the Masters Qualifier. Then, the top 20 are invited to participate in the CrossFit Games.For the Regionals, athletes will do combination workouts that have been described as brutal.

These workouts test range and depth of the competitor’s abilities. These events are the same in every region and Regionals have become a very lively experience for the spectator. The competition in Regionals gets tougher every year, with the Regionals replacing what the old Games used to be.

The Regionals are for those athletes who want to hone their skills further.The CrossFit Games season culminates with The Games. After getting through the two previous steps, thousands of participants that have been whittled down to approximately 100 of the fittest men and women in the world are ready for The Games. All bets are off when it comes to The Games, with events testing the athletes across a broad time with modal domains.

These events could involve running or squats as well as other more unique challenges including odd object lifting or climbing.The unknown in the world of CrossFit is the key element to fair testing. Athletes can’t train for something they don’t know about. In each of the games, athletes go through a series of challenges that are not known to them until they right before the competition.

An explosive mix can come from athletes highly trained and those unknown workouts.Through consistent and exceptional performances, athletes can distinguish themselves as the fittest when it comes to the Games. In just a weekend’s time, CrossFit Games put athletes to the test, working their capabilities across modal domains and broad time spans.

Ranging from dusty hill sprints to carrying sandbags to swimming in the ocean and other endurance events, the 2013 CrossFit Games will surely surprise spectators.

When it comes to having a scoring system, athletes get rewarded based on where the place in an event relative to their peers. The scoring system does not rely on the athlete’s competition against his/her peers, but instead rate the 50 fittest men and women in the world.

Through multiple steps, all of these athletes have qualified. It is up to the game judges to determine who if the fittest.

As a sport, CrossFit is growing. Public interest continues to spike, as well as the community of CrossFit participants. This year -2014 – looks to be a landmark year for the CrossFit Games.

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