This is a post from my lovely wife, as she lives through her summer vacation with our boys.
Want to have fun, get your summer workout with the kids, and spend some quality time together too? Take the little devils to the local water park and do everything they do. See how my day ended up with these guys…
A Fun Summer Workout With The Kids
We count ourselves lucky to have a small amusement/water park near our home, so this year, in preparation for the impending doom of summer vacation, we bought season passes. Today was our first trip of the summer. Little did I know what kind of summer workout with the kids I was getting myself into. The two younger boys and I made the trip together, and they managed to keep me on my toes pretty much all day. Our 8-year old has epilepsy, and although he’s been seizure-free for 15 months now, he still has to be watched closely. A water park is a scary place for the parent of an epileptic child, but he has to live. So taking him the the amusement park means doing everything he does, without the energy that comes with being that tender age.
The first thing they wanted to do was the “lazy river.” Thinking myself to be safe floating around on a tube, I was game.
What was I thinking? Relaxing on a floating tube?
Most of the water parks I’ve been to require people in the lazy river to be – well, LAZY. You have to be on a tube. Not at our park — oh no. As luck would have it, children are allowed to swim, walk, and yes even run our lazy river. So naturally, what do my little boys choose? Have you ever tried to run in 3-feet of water. You want a good without with your kids — try this on for size. It ain’t easy.
I lost count of how many times we ran around that river before they finally decided to “catch some waves” in the wave pool.
Again, no rest for the wicked — No Tube Required! And I thought abdominal exercises were hard. While the wave pool only gets about 5-feet deep, the 11-year old can touch. So naturally, the 8-year old MUST do everything his older brother does. So my time in the wave pool with them was spent jumping waves, dodging crazy people, swimming, and playing a game of push/pull with the 8-year old, who was constantly trying to drag me back to deeper water. Stubborn and difficult — I have no idea where he gets that particular trait.
Next was Tiki Island — a huge jungle gym structure with tons of water toys, slides, stairs, bridges, and a massive “pot” at the top that periodically dumps water on any unsuspecting victims. In this place, I was able to obtain a brief respite, simply circling the structure to keep the young one in sight. But that only lasted a short period of time, then it was off to the water slides. I don’t know how many steps lead to the top of that slide, but since I’m terrified of water slides, don’t ride them. But I couldn’t force my neurosis on the kids, so I traipsed up — then down — to wait for the kids, so I think it was about a million ka jillion steps all together.
I’m absolutely certain there are approximately a million ka jillion steps on the water slides.
After they tired of this, I was able to convince them that a stint in the Olympic sized swimming pool sounded like a great idea. But, of course, the 8-year old wanted to swim on the deep end, which meant I had to say right there with him, treading water. When reminded that the water was 10-feet deep, and neither of us could touch bottom, he responded with this sarcastic rejoinder…
Mommy. If I can swim in 3-feet of water, I can swim in 10-feet of water. And by the way Mommy — you can swim too.
And I thought I was getting a break.
After a long time in the pool, it was back race in the lazy river again, catch a few waves, and another round of slides. Then they decided to walk around and ride a few of the amusement park rides — FOR 2 HOURS!! Then they let me off the hook and decided they were ready to go home.
Left feeling like I’d done a day’s worth of classes back in the gym, so I decided to take a shot at calculating just how good my workout with the kids ended up being. This is was I came up with.
- Swimming – Moderate Pace, 1 hour — 420 calories
- Climbing Stairs – 20 minutes — 186 calories
- Water Jogging – 1 hour — 544 calories
- Walking – 2 mph — 192 calories
- Standing – 2 hours — +50 calories/hour over sitting (I did a lot of this, so by golly I’m counting it!)
OK. I don’t know exactly how much time I spent doing each of the above activities. But taking a rough swag, I’m figuring I burned at least 1442 calories during this fun summer outing with the kids. Sure, the kids don’t count it as a summer workout, and they didn’t burn as many calories as I did — an advantage of being little and lighter. But I definitely couldn’t do that every single day. And we had fun while we were at it.
So now I don’t have to feel so bad about the funnel cake we split 3 ways at the end of the day, right?
This post originated at Live Fit Blog, which is written by Greg Hayes. To read more about fitting fitness into busy lives, check out his blog.