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7 kid activities you should try as an adult

Living a healthy lifestyle can be child’s play. Try one of these kid activities to help you stay fit’and have fun’as a grown-up

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mother and daughter

Healthy living should be fun

Stressed out about living a healthy lifestyle? Relax and have some fun! It turns out that many of the activities you enjoyed as a kid can help make you a healthier adult. Think back to what you loved to do when you were young and try incorporating some into your grown-up life. Here are seven examples to get you started.

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jump rope large

Jump rope

To improve physical coordination and sneak in some playful cardio, try a jump rope. It can burn more than 700 calories per hour. “The skipping rope is the only piece of cardio equipment I can think of that you can get for five dollars,” says says Todd Matthews, a certified strength and conditioning specialist in Aurora, Ont.. And the impact does help build bone mass, which is good for us women, as we’re at higher risk than men for osteoporosis.

How to use it: If you have joint issues, check with your doctor before going ahead with a jump rope program. Matthews gets some of his clients to skip for a warm-up, and for others he uses it as intense cardio. But it’s a good interval workout, he says. Skip for one minute, and rest for 15 seconds, and repeat four times. Too easy? Skip for three minutes and rest for one minute, and repeat four times.

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hula hoop

Hula hoop

This 1950s craze is no longer just child’s play. Hula-hooping, or “hooping,” has re-emerged as a great cardio workout to slim your waist, hips, buttocks and thighs while toning your abdominals and lower back muscles. Hooping can be done indoors or out, on your own or with a group in a class setting.

To get started, you’ll need the right hoop, preferably a heavy, large one that is about waist high, says Montreal hula hoop instructor Rebecca Halls. “The children’s hoops sold in toy stores are too small and light.” Here’s the basic technique: hold the hoop at your waist, keeping your legs shoulder- or hip-width apart. With one foot in front of the other and your knees bent, spin the hoop around your waist, using small back and forth or side-to-side movements. Get hooping tips from instructional videos on YouTube or watch Hoopnotica: Hoopdance DVDs.

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roller skates

Roller skate

Roller skating gives you a workout equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits such as calorie and fat burning, and toning your legs and core. Head to a rink with your in-line skates and work on speed, leg and coordination drills such as single-leg side pushes and sprinting exercises using distance or time, recommends Libby Norris, president of Inspired Energy corporate wellness. “Roller skating is a great family activity and most rinks allow both in-line skates or the good old four wheels!”

Visit Roller Sports Canada for more info on where to get involved in your hometown.

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woman writing

Keep a journal

Studies suggest that emotional or expressive writing can reduce high blood pressure, enhance immune function, decrease the severity of asthma and arthritis symptoms, promote wound healing, increase AIDS patients’ white blood cell counts and even help young people quit smoking.

Try this exercise from Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval:
• Write for 20 minutes per day for four days.
• Write about a major conflict or stressor in your life, something personal and important; you can write about the same one four times, or write about different ones.
• Write without stopping; don’t worry about spelling and grammar.
• Write this for your eyes only.
• If writing about something makes you unbearably upset, stop.

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daydreaming

Daydream

Dreamers may be mocked for having their heads in the clouds, but daydreaming can relax the mind, boost productivity and allow you to consider a wide range of possibilities for yourself. Make time to let your mind wander-you never know where your dreams may lead.

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smiling woman

Get braces

Orthodontics isn’t just for the pre-teen set-if your teeth are sabotaging your confident smile, or you have biting issues, braces may be the right choice for you. Click here to check out the options available for adults (neon-pink elastics not required).

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woman dancing

Find your passion

To figure out what you really love to do, start by looking backward. Think back to your teenage years and try to remember if there were any subjects that grabbed your attention. Ask your parents what you were like as a kid. Was there anything that you got intensely interested in, read up on, and talked about incessantly at the dinner table? Don’t try to have this conversation on the fly with your parents; you won’t get enough detail. Instead, set aside a good 30 minutes and walk them back through time, back to when the demands and expectations of the world had yet to blanket your sense of who you really were.

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