Staying Fit as a Family

It’s hard to believe that our littlest child no longer needs to ride in a bike trailer or use training wheels.

Everyone in our family is a two-wheeled bike rider!!! After teaching SEVEN kids how to ride a bike I seriously never thought this day would come.

While our quiet neighborhood is great for bike rides, we don’t have sidewalks so I get a little nervous with Cora still being a beginning rider.

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Thankfully we live near several awesome bike trails that are perfect for our whole family to ride together.

One thing I realized when our kids were younger is that exercise isn’t just for mom and dad. Finding fun activities the whole family can do together is a great way to keep everyone healthy and fit.

Here are a few of our favorite ways we are active together.

Team Sports

All of our kids play soccer. Every single one of them. We decided years ago that soccer was the easiest sport for our whole family to play.

Not all of my kids are amazing soccer players, but they’ve all enjoyed being on a team and making new friends. My husband and I also coach teams to make it a total family affair. While soccer may not be your thing, I’ve known other folks who participate in swimming, lacrosse, and tennis as a family.

Water activities

Most of our family vacations involve water. We love the beach, rivers, springs, and lakes.

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All of my kids love to swim, canoe, kayak, and recently have started tubing. A few years ago we lived in a neighborhood that had a community pool. Most of the parents would sit on the side and watch their kids’ swim.

Be a fit family by getting off the side of the pool and swimming with your kids.

Outside play

I know many kids, who given the opportunity, will pick playing a video game or watching a movie over being outside, but we encourage outside play whenever we can.

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We meet up with friends at parks and playgrounds and always keep a bin of soccer, basketballs, and other outside toys easily accessible for our kids to use when friends come over.

Be purposeful with family time

If your schedule is anything like ours, your family is always on the go! We have to plan our family time or it doesn’t happen.

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Whether it is taking a walk around the neighborhood, going to garage sales on a Saturday morning, or hitting the trails on our bikes we try to make our time together active and fun.

Work out together

If your children are old enough, they can even workout with you! All of my kids love to exercise with mom and dad even if it just means jumping jacks or toe touches while we do something more rigorous.

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My older kids enjoy participating in fun runs with their dad. If you like being chased by zombies, sprayed with colorful powder or crawling through mud, these races are tons of fun for anyone who is old enough to participate.

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Because our family spends so much time on the go, I’m always looking for snacks I can quickly throw in my bag that the whole family will enjoy.

This week I tried Fisher Nut Exactly snack bites. Since our family LOVES popcorn I knew my kids would love these 15 calorie snacks that are a combination of roasted nuts and whole grain popcorn, rolled into a bite-sized snack that’s dipped in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter or salted caramel.IMG_4366

One bite and I was hooked! These snack bites were so good I had to stop myself from eating the entire bag! My favorite is Peanut Popcorn Dipped in Peanut Butter although my daughter loved the Almond Popcorn Dipped in Milk Chocolate.

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There are several varieties available, including Almond Popcorn Dipped in Milk Chocolate, Almond Popcorn Dipped in Dark Chocolate, Pecan Popcorn Dipped in Salted Caramel and Peanut Popcorn Dipped in Peanut Butter so you’re sure to find something for everyone’s tastes.

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They come in a resealable bag, so they are perfect to take with you on a bike ride or to the field for an after game snack.

Find out which of your local stores carries Fisher Nut Exactly.

If you would like to try some of these absolutely delicious (can’t eat just one!) snack bites leave a comment below sharing how your family stays active. One winner will receive a Fisher Nut Exactly prize pack plus a $50 gift card! 

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Giveaway ends February 8, 2016!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher . The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Healthy Snacking Tips: Giveaway!

Almost four years ago I drastically changed how I ate and increased my daily activity because I was tired of being tired!

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It didn’t take long for me to see the positive effects of these changes in my life.

One of the habits I picked up was creating a routine for my daily meals and including snacks. This was really difficult for me because I was not a “snacker.” I was very content with my three meals a day and nothing more.

However, as I became more in tune with how my body reacted to certain foods and activities I realized that by dinner time I was actually very hungry and would either prepare the fastest thing I could think of (pasta) or fill up on bread when I sat down to eat.

Healthy snacking sounded simple, but coming up with quick healthy snacks was difficult. When I was at home I could easily cut up an apple or grab some cheese, but when I was out running around I needed quick options I could keep in my purse.

I realized I needed to have a plan to keep me on track.

Prep on the weekends

Every Sunday evening I would chop up fresh fruit and veggies and package them in snack bags. I would also refill my snack bins (see below) and make a note of what needed to be replaced.

Make your healthy food/ fast food

I purchased plastic bins from the dollar store and use them to store healthy snacks in the fridge as well as in the pantry so when I’m in a rush I can make smart food choices without even thinking about it.

I also bought bins for the kids to make it easy for them to find healthy snack foods and pack their lunch quickly. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has dealt with children asking what’s for snack every single afternoon. :-) With the bins in the pantry and fridge my kids don’t even have to ask if they can have a snack.

If’ it’s in the bin, they can eat it!

Get into a routine

As I mentioned, I rarely crave snacks. I also tend to get busy with projects, school, or work and forget to eat. So by the time I feel hungry, I’m absolutely starving and grab the quickest option available.

I started eating breakfast and lunch at the same time every day and adding in two snacks, one in the morning and one about 3pm. This kept me from overeating during mealtime because I felt like I was famished.

I recently discovered the Orchard Valley Harvest Grab & Go individual packs. These Non-GMO snacks come in a variety of options, including chocolate covered almonds, cranberry almond cashew trail mix, and a variety of dry roasted nut options.

These are great for my kids’ lunches and for me to grab a quick snack during the day. The packs contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives which something that makes me happy!

If you are looking for quick, healthy snack options grab a package of Orchard Valley Harvest next time you are grocery shopping.

You can also enter to win an Orchard Valley prize pack which includes snacks and a $50 Visa gift Card.

To be entered to win share your best tip for making healthy snack choices throughout the day. Giveaway ends February 5, 2016 so enter today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Orchard Valley Harvest . The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Stick With Your New Year’s Resolutions

This Goji Play post was sponsored by Blue Goji who are committed to helping people #GetUpAndGojiPlay. All opinions are my own.

Several years ago I decided to fight back and get fit. I took a balanced approach of diet modifications (not a diet) and exercise. If you would have told me ten years ago that the forty-three year old me would actually like going to the gym or scanning Craig’s List for used exercise equipment, I would have thought you were crazy!

Today however, we have a slew exercise equipment in our home and eating healthy is something I’ve grown accustom love.

As 2016 begins, many people are making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, drink more water, eat less sugar and a variety of other great things.

Since I made a huge lifestyle change several years ago, I learned a lot about changing how I live and replacing bad habits with good ones. 

Notice how I said replacing bad habits, not quitting bad habits? The reality is only about 8% of people succeed in keeping their resolutions. Why do so many people, who have great intentions fail?

How can you keep your resolutions this year?

Be specific

It is easy to say, “I want to get in shape” but it is actually hard to get in shape. It is easy to say that you want to eat healthier, but what does that even mean?

A few years ago I decided that I would always take the stairs if possible.

Making small changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help put you on the road to better health.

Taking the stairs is something specific I could do to move towards a healthier lifestyle. It was also achievable. I’m in good health, so going up and down stairs was something I was capable of doing.

Sometimes I would get winded, but I resolved to get in better shape so that going up a few flights of stairs was no problem.

Today I can easily carry luggage up and down the stairs at the airport without breaking a sweat. The small change of taking the stairs, triggered other changes in my life. I didn’t want to get sweaty and gross walking up the stairs so I focused more on my physical fitness.

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Make them achievable

When thinking about setting your 2016 resolutions, try to come up with specific and achievable goals.

For example:

  • Park a little further from the store or the office, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Instead of snacking on candy or cookies grab a handful of precut veggies, cheese, or nuts.
  • Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
  • Wake up 30 minutes earlier.
  • Commit to exercising for 30 minutes before getting on social media. (ouch!)

All of the items listed above are things I am capable of doing by making a few small changes to my daily routine. Notice I did not say, run a marathon in March. I would never make that resolution because I’m not a runner and I haven’t even run a 5k.

If I wanted to start running, I would set an achievable goal, such as run three times a week, or run a 5k by March.

Make sure the goals you set are ones you have the ability to reach.

Be accountable

If you are like the old me, working out did not seem fun when I first started. I hired a trainer to hold me accountable and make it a little more enjoyable (although most of the time I wanted to punch him in the face).

Not everyone can afford a trainer (I needed one due to a previous back surgery) but everyone needs someone to hold them accountable. Share your goals with a friend or family member so they can check up on you and maybe even work towards those goals with you.

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I’ve found that with every big accomplishment in my life, there has been someone that was constantly checking up on me making sure I stayed on track.

Make it enjoyable

If you absolutely hate what you are doing, chances are you are going to try and avoid doing it at all costs. When setting your goals, make sure you have a plan to make it more enjoyable. Losing weight or getting in shape isn’t always fun, but feeling better is!

Last month I told you about my family’s experience with the Goji Play 2. If you dread exercising (love games – or both) this is a must have for you!

It really does make the time fly by and with a variety of games available there’s something for everyone!

You can compete with friends and family within the app. So if you are competitive like me, that’s motivation enough!

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Goji Play is kicking off 2016 with the Goji Madness Tournament. Even if you are a beginner, there is something for people of all fitness levels, from the seasoned athlete to the retiree.

Goji Play Paper Dash

Goji users are rewarded with GoCoins when they complete certain Blue Goji activities, such as playing Goji Play games on cardio equipment or doing various exercises or activities with GojiGo. The top 64 contestants (16 from each community) with the highest amounts of GoCoins earned during from January 1 to March 31, will advance to the Elimination Rounds

To enter the tournament, join one of the four Goji Madness communities inside the GojiVerse app. What better way to start 2016 than with a fun contest where you can win prizes and get fit?

Get $10 off your new Goji Play 2 plus free shipping when you use the code TONIA10

If you want to stick to your resolutions in 2016 remember keep them specific, achievable, accountable, and enjoyable.

You’ve got this!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Make Exercise Fun with the Goji Play 2

Get $10 off your new Goji Play 2 plus free shipping when you use the code TONIA10

This Goji Play post was sponsored by Blue Goji who are committed to helping people #GetUpAndGojiPlay. All opinions are my own.

As many of you know I’ve been committed to living a healthier life and helping others do the same for the past three years. During those three years I’ve talked to literally thousands of women (and a few guys too) who struggle staying fit.

One issue that seems to be at the core of most people’s fitness struggles is a lack of motivation to actually get up and move. For most people, getting started is their biggest struggle.

Are your kids couch potatoes who would rather play video games all day long than exercise? Check out the new Goji Play 2, which combines gaming with exercise. It's a great way to get motivated to exercise.

This month I had the opportunity to test the Goji Play 2, which claims to make exercising fun. In the past three years I’ve tried numerous exercise programs, equipment, and workouts, so I was excited to see if the Goji Play 2 kept people motivated to exercise.

Since I already love to exercise I thought it would be best tested out on a nineteen-year-old boy, because if it motivated him, it could probably motivate anyone. 😉

How it works

The Goji Play 2 comes with two bands that attach to the handles of an elliptical, stationary bike, or stair stepper.

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The bands connect with your smart phone or tablet using blue tooth technology that allows you to play games on your mobile device while you work out.

You’ll want to download the Goji Verse app and create an account so you can track your personal goals and progress.

After you’ve created your account, you sync the controls with your device and then pick a game to play.

Currently there are several games available to use with your Goji Play 2.

Goji Play 2 Games

Once we set everything up (it only took a few minutes) I asked my son to give it a try on the elliptical.

He had it all figured out in about 10 seconds and got going.

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To say that he loved playing the games while exercising would be an understatement. I actually had to ask him to get off the elliptical so my husband could have a turn.

The Goji Play 2 is suitable for kids ages six and up and there are a variety of games available that would appeal to adults and kids.

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I’m thankful my son doesn’t have an elliptical at his house or I probably wouldn’t see my Goji Play 2 for a while.

The really interesting thing about the games is that if you aren’t moving, they shut off, so in order to play you have to keep exercising.

I didn’t tell my son anything about the Goji Play 2 before he tried it out. When he was finished using it, he commented that the time flew by while he was exercising.

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I tried a few of the games myself, and while it took me a little longer than 10 seconds to figure out the games (since I don’t normally play video games) once I got going it was very distracting and entertaining.

Currently you can receive $10 off your new Goji Play 2 when you use the code TONIA10. The apps are free, but you need to buy the bands to get started.

Learn more about the Goji Play 2 on their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.