3 Tips for Surviving a Day at the Pool with Your Little Ones

Summer is a fun time for your family to spend many hours together by the pool. Give yourself peace of mind while hanging out at the pool by taking proper safety precautions. Read on to learn three tips for surviving a day at the pool with your little ones. 

Have Shade

Ensuring there is shade near the pool is very important. You can bring your own shade with a sunshade umbrella that you take from home. Or, try finding a covered rest area in a pool park or a tree to sit under. Wearing hats also provides a form of shade.  Every child and adult who is spending the day in the sun should wear a hat at all times. Shade also prevents some materials from becoming too hot. Whenever possible, have your child play in shaded areas. Shade can also help prevent dehydration and heatstroke. The best time to hydrate is while resting in the shade. 

Teach Your Little Ones About Pool Dangers

You should also teach your little ones about the dangers of running around the pool and the consequences of breaking that rule. Most parents know about the risks, but toddlers and children need to hear rules repeated many times. With toddlers, it is best to keep things simple. Let them know they may fall and get hurt or fall into the pool and be unable to swim. Also, always have toddlers wear floaties. These floatation devices save many lives every year. If your toddler resists, then bring them to the store and let them choose the floaties that have their favorite Disney character on them. This will make the rule more fun, and toddlers and children will follow rules when they feel like it was their decision.  


When playing in the sun, wearing sunscreen is important. When swimming is involved, be sure to reapply sunscreen every 45 minutes. Sunscreen takes about 15 minutes to sink into the skin and become active. Be sure to use waterproof sunscreen, and be sure to follow through with application even if your child finds it uncomfortable. There are also more natural physical sunscreen options, such as ones that are titanium and zinc-based. Those are called mineral sunscreens as opposed to chemical sunscreens.

Summer pool safety is important, and there are certainly some hazards of pool time that you need to look out for. That being said, don't let it take away from your fun. Teach your child a few safety rules, reapply sunblock, and enjoy your summer.

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How Medical Advances Are Empowering Parents During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth can be some of the most exciting times for parents, but the whole process can also be very daunting. Although we've made great strides at making the birthing process safer and easier for women, there's still a long way to go. Thankfully, advancements in science and medicine continue to help empower parents to take charge of their pregnancies with the tools and information necessary to do what's best for their families. Below, we explore three ways in which modern medical developments are doing just that.

Earlier Detection of Pregnancy

Wanting to know if you're pregnant as soon as possible is nothing new. The ancient Egyptians recorded a way of detecting a pregnancy and even the gender of the child that involved peeing on wheat and barley seeds. Although only about 70% accurate, modern researchers showed that the high levels of estrogen found in the urine of a pregnant womsn can indeed speed seed germination. Fortunately, pregnancy detection has advanced greatly since then. Today, pregnancy tests measure a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, which is found only in pregnant women. For a few dollars and from the comfort of home, women can check if they're pregnant with over 99% accuracy. 

In-Utero Examinations

Many parents are interested in knowing the health of their baby before they're born, and thanks to modern technology, this is now possible. Advancements in technology are allowing physicians to detect developmental complications or signs that are indicative of them while the baby is still in utero. Originally, prenatal testing involved a process known as amniocentesis, in which amniotic fluid was removed from the uterus through a syringe and tested for genetic abnormalities, lung development, infections and more. However, amniocentesis can be a risky procedure and carries the risk of miscarriage. A new method, noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), allows for similar tests, including for chromosomal abnormalities, to be done with a simple maternal blood test and no risk to the baby.

3D and 4D Ultrasounds

A prenatal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the fetus, placenta and amniotic sac, allowing doctors to make sure the fetus is developing normally. The technology has been around since the 1950s and used to only allow for 2D black and white images, but new advancements can create three-dimensional real-time images. Not only does this allow parents to see the actual face of their baby and observe their behavior, like laughing and thumb-sucking, but it also allows for a clearer analysis of the fetus and a greater ability to diagnose abnormalities.

As science and medicine continue to progress in the field of family planning and prenatal care, parents are becoming even more empowered to make the best decisions for their families and better prepare for their new arrival.

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3 Guidelines for Using a Car Seat Correctly

A car seat is the best way to make sure your child is protected during car rides. In fact, it is illegal for small toddlers and infants to be in a vehicle without a car seat. These seats save lives, protect a baby from being banged up, and protect kids from whiplash. However, a car seat is useless if it isn't properly installed. 

Proper Installation

The two main types of car sets are rear-facing and front-facing. No matter which type of car seat you are using, you should not put the car seat in the front. Car seats should always be used in the back. A car seat can be secured in a vehicle either using a seat belt or with anchors. 

The best way to make sure your car seat is properly installed is to refer to the owner's manual of the seat. All car seats are different, but the manual will explain how to properly install your particular model. 

The Right Seat for the Child

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children use booster seats until they are at least 4'9". However, laws vary depending on the state. Choosing a car seat for your child is all about knowing your kid. You will have to select one that is perfect for his or her size, and this means you will be buying new car seats frequently until the child is tall enough to ride without one. 

The good news is that there are only two pieces of data to take into account: height and weight. It shouldn't be too difficult to find a decent car seat and the right seat belt fit if you spend a day shopping around. 

The Right Car 

A car seat isn't the only thing you need to protect your child. You also need to make sure your car is in proper working order. Some vehicles are more car seat friendly than others. For example, it is recommended to put a car seat in the center back of the vehicle; however, not all cars have attachments for a car seat to be placed in this spot. 

Once you have the right size car seat and have the car seat properly installed, it is time to make sure it is secure. You can just test it with your own strength, but you can also take it for a test drive without your child.

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3 Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe While They Play

With summer in full swing, accidents involving children are inevitably on the rise. Attentive parents understand the importance of keeping their children safe as they play. Here are three proven tips to help you to keep your children protected from a host of potential dangers.

Supervise Them

The cardinal rule in keeping your child safe is to always provide them with adequate supervision. Having a designated adult in charge of each child will reduce the risk of injury or other mishaps. Once your child reaches the later elementary school years, you can ease up on supervising him or her when he or she is playing outside. It is important to balance proper supervision with the encouragement that your child needs to become more independent. You can also ease up on the supervision in more controlled environments, such as your home, but be more vigilant in areas that are unfamiliar.

Use Protective Equipment

The proper use of protective equipment can protect against a host of injuries and accidents. It is critical that you make wearing a helmet while riding a bike a nonnegotiable issue. According to Hughey Law Firm, bicycle helmets should meet minimum safety standards in order to adequately protect from head injuries. A bike store professional can help ensure that the helmet is sized properly. If your children participate in youth athletics, it is imperative that they are outfitted with the right protective gear and equipment. This will guard against injuries and give you peace of mind as you send your kids out to compete.

Educate and Empower Them

At the end of the day, the most important thing that you can do is educate and empower your kids to protect themselves from potential danger, according to Educate Empower Kids. Talking openly to your children about issues such as stranger danger, the importance of wearing a bike helmet and what adults they can trust can help them understand how to protect themselves. Engaging in age-appropriate discussions will help your child take responsibility for his or her own personal safety as he or she ages. This is an invaluable tool that will serve your child well in life.

Any parent wants to be able to make sure that their child is safe while they are playing. Equipping yourself and your child with the right tools and knowledge will ensure that he or she is as protected as possible from potential accidents and dangers. As a parent, you can never be too cautious when it comes to the well-being of your children.

How to Tell That You're Ready for Another Child

After having your first child, you may assume that you will have another one and that you will know when the timing is right. The problem is that having one child doesn't always make it easier to decide when to add to the family. There are many factors to consider, and you need access to your health in multiple areas of your life before adding to your family.

You’re Financially Ready

Having kids is expensive. From childbirth to daycare, there are always out-of-pocket costs when adding to the family. You will either be doubling day care expenses or opting to lose one income so someone can stay home with the baby. All sick days from work may be used for the first child when he needs someone to stay home with him, so leave after giving birth to the second child could be pulled from your check. Plus, if your older child was out of diapers and finished with formula, you will be adding those costs back in with the birth of the second child. Having a second child may also mean moving to a bigger home so that everyone has plenty of room. Consider all of the expenses and run a mock budget to see where that leaves you assuming you go ahead and have another baby. Do this before committing to a final decision.

You’re Medically Ready

Just because you can get pregnant again doesn't mean you should. A short time between pregnancies is a common cause of premature birth. Pregnancy and birth are beautiful, natural processes, but they still take a toll on the body. You can endanger yourself and the baby you are carrying if you rush into a second pregnancy too soon. Your physical health matters. Not giving the body time to recover can make you feel exhausted before the second baby even arrives. There's also an increased risk of premature birth when children are born less than a year apart, with many experts saying don't even try to get pregnant again until your first child is 18 months old. Premature birth can result in life-long health problems for the baby, and parents of preemies also experience high levels of stress as their child tries to survive in the outside world before he's ready.

Your Relationship is Ready

It is possible to be a single parent, but if you're in a relationship, you need to make sure both you and your partner are ready to have another child before moving forward. Becoming parents can bring couples closer together, but it also puts a strain on the relationship since so much energy is put into raising kids instead of just being a couple. Moving forward with having a child if both partners are not on board can cause problems, such as resentment and blame, and this isn't the kind of environment in which to welcome a second child.

Having kids can be a wonderful thing. However, it’s important to assess your mental, financial and physical health before growing your family. Knowing that you're ready in these areas of life will create less stress as you add more children to your life.

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3 Pieces of Advice New Moms Should Take to Heart

Becoming a mom for the first time is both exciting and scary. You will soon realize that everybody has some advice to share about this phase in your life, making it challenging to sort through all of the words of wisdom to figure out what works for you. Here are three of the best pieces of advice that new moms should take to heart.

Always Keep Your Eye on Your Child

Despite your best intentions to make your home a safe place for your new little one, it is important to remember that nothing is ever truly childproof. The fact that thousands of children are poisoned each year by laundry pods should be warning enough that you can never plan on what kids will get in. Because of this, it is imperative that you always keep a vigilant watch over your young children. Especially in large groups, it is important to make sure that every child has a designated adult watching over them to keep them out of danger.

Stick to a Schedule

New babies thrive on the regularity of a routine. The first thing to establish is a sleeping schedule. While this may be hit or miss in the first few months, a baby will naturally begin to regulate its sleep patterns by the third month of life. Encouraging a regular schedule will make it easier for your infant to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is also important to regulate eating schedules. Establishing a routine will make life flow easier for everyone.

Enjoy Every Moment

Although it may sound cliché, it is true that the time definitely does fly. Do not be so consumed with keeping a perfect house or being the best mom that you neglect to savor this special time with your new baby. You can never hold a baby too much so be sure to snuggle away. There will come a time when you long for those sleepless nights holding your newborn in your arms. Make these moments count by being conscious about living in the moment. So put the laundry to the side and enjoy watching your infant sleep.


The period of those first few months with your baby can be one of the most special times in your life as a mother. While you might get lots of advice from people as a new mother, the tips above are some of the most helpful. In the end, the most important thing to remember is to listen to your gut and let your natural mothering instincts take over.

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3 Ways Moms Can Work Out and Relax at the Same Time

Although they may seem in opposition to each other, it is possible to exercise and relax at the same time. Not all exercise has to be so physically demanding that it stresses out the body and mind. There are a variety of exercises that will give your body a workout while also relaxing your mind and putting you in a better mood. Here are three ways that busy moms can work out and relax at the same time.


Yoga is an exceptional exercise when looking to push the body while simultaneously relaxing the mind. This gentle exercise builds muscles, increases flexibility, and boosts your mental health. You can choose to practice yoga in a group setting at a dedicated studio or fitness facility or you can choose to do it on your own in the comfort of your own home. Bubbles Academy suggests that you can also do yoga with your kids, no matter their age. The only things that you need are comfortable clothes and a yoga mat. While it may be challenging to get the hang of the poses when you first start, you will feel like a seasoned and relaxed yogi in no time at all.

Swim Spa

A swim spa is an invaluable addition to any home. You can set the speed to the current that is most useful and comfortable for you. A swim spa is ideal for working out sore muscles, providing a significant cardiovascular workout, and relaxing the body. In addition to mimicking open water swimming, a swim spa can also be used for walking, underwater running, and rowing. Great Bay Spa & Sauna talks about how the motion of the water in a swim spa can be like a relaxing massage as the warmth and gentle motions soothe sore and aching muscles. 


Rally explains that as one of the easiest forms of exercise, walking for fitness is something that nearly anyone can do. The best thing of all is that the only thing that you need to get started is a good pair of walking shoes. Walking burns calories, boosts cardiovascular health, relaxes the mind, and eases stress. Getting outside and connecting with Mother Nature will naturally improve your mood. If you do not have time to devote a large chunk of time to a daily walk, you can divide it into smaller increments throughout the day.

Any of these three exercises will improve your overall physical fitness while also relaxing your mind and body. The only thing left to do is to get out there and do something great for yourself!

Staying fit can be difficult at times, but once you’ve accomplished your fitness goals, why not have some professional photos done of you and your family? This is also a great opportunity to have nice photos of your kids. So check out how Panos Productions Photography can help!

3 Reasons Why Microfiber Sheets Might Be a Mom's Best Friend

When you consider the fact that humans spend around one-third of their lives sleeping, you soon realize that finding ways to increase the quality of your sleep is very important. Sleeping sufficiently and well is essential to moms who are caring for their families. One of the best ways a busy mother can help herself sleep better is to invest in a quality set of microfiber sheets.

Affordable High Quality

Microfiber sheets are made from polyester, nylon or other synthetic materials. The fiber is composed of very thin threads, and this makes them extremely soft to the touch. According to Super Comfy Sleep, compared with cotton bed linens, microfiber sheets are quite affordable. Another benefit is the fact that microfiber fabrics hold their color even through many washings, so you don't have to worry about fading. When deciding on the best microfiber sheets, you should consider the thread count, denier of the fiber and any pretreatments that might have been used on the sheets during manufacturing.


Simply Sheets Fundraising says that microfiber products are naturally stain-resistant, promising easy cleanup after messes are made. This feature is especially helpful if you're a mom and you have little ones climbing into bed. These sheets allow for easy removal of some of the most common stains like food, spit-up, and other fluids. On many occasions, a high-quality microfiber sheet set can be washed under normal conditions without the requirement of a specialized stain removal formula. This feature is helpful because you may not notice the stain before you throw your sheets into the washer.


Microfiber sheets are made of materials that can maintain their color, texture, and integrity through many cycles of washing and drying. These sheets are easy to care for, and they can be washed and dried in your standard machines at home. They are also wrinkle-free so you won't have to spend time ironing or worry if you leave them in the dryer overnight. Due to the tight weave of the fabric in microfiber sheets, they are durable and won't tear or fray after many washes.

Microfiber sheets come in various color options and have a comfortable feel that can be enjoyed year-round. These sheets are stain-resistant and easy to care for. Consequently, they can help busy moms save time. Of course, they also promote better sleep throughout the night. High-quality microfiber sheets are ideal for any mother seeking comfortable bed linen that is low-maintenance and designed to last.

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How to Get Rid of Pests Without Harming Children or Pets

Unwanted pests in your home can create a very stressful situation. Whether you are dealing with rodents or bugs, these uninvited guests can be very unhealthy and dangerous. Not to mention pests in large quantities is just a gross situation. Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can get rid of pests in and around your home. If you have children or pets present on the property, you may want to think about finding a way to control an infestation naturally. This will reduce exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Remove Their Habitats

In order for a large quantity of pests to be in or around your home, they must have a habitat somewhere in the vicinity. Depending on the pest that you are dealing with, the habitat could be in a variety of locations. For example, fleas love to hide in small spaces. You might find them deep within the fibers of your carpet or in the small gaps between your baseboards and flooring. And if you have furry pets, obviously that’s their favorite place to be. Ants can create nests just about anywhere, but the most common places are within walls or under flooring. Once you get rid of their home, you reduce their ability to reproduce. This will make it easier to slow down the infestation.

Use Natural Insecticides

Chemical pest products can be effective when it comes to remove pests, but these chemicals can be extremely dangerous to have around humans. Research some natural products that use things like essential oils to repel and kill pests. Some plant-based oil pest control products target neurotransmitters unique to insects, which in turn makes them safe for use around children and pets.

Keep Your Home Clean

A clean home isn’t really what pests are looking for. They’re looking for a food source, and they’re looking for a protected shelter. If you keep your home clean, remove garbage daily and wipe down surfaces when they’re messy, this will deter pests from wanting to make a home inside of your home. Don’t leave food out, keep clutter off of the floor, and make sure your pets are clean when they come into the home. Pets are one of the most common ways an infestation starts.

Some pests like moist and dark areas. If you have a very small leak in your wall or around pipes, this can attract a whole host of pests. If you know that there is a repair issue present in your home, make sure to have it addressed right away.

While it can seem overwhelming to be dealing with a pest infestation, there are ways that you can get rid of your unwanted visitors. Stick to a more natural approach if you want to make sure that your children and pets are safe during the extermination phase.

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Children's Songs Your Kids Will Love

Today, kids are all about media. Between videos and pics on cell phones, it is almost impossible to grab their attention in any different way. Today, I want to let you know about an album of children’s songs that can keep up with the contant competition for attention.

Tumble Bee by Laura Veirs: The Bottom Line For Children’s Songs

This is a great album that has 13 tracks and offers a substantial variety of meters, tones and sounds. Two of the tracks “Down in the Medder” and “Prairie Dream” are instrumentals. This is an attractive feature, especially if you are looking to introduce toddlers to music without any words.

Songs That Are Playful

Tumble Bee has at least three children’s songs that are “catchy”. The tune is fairly easy to pick up, “The Fox”, “Why Oh Why”, and “Little Lap Dog Lullaby” are the ones I might use in a classroom setting, or at a party to break the ice.

The Fox is a super fun song and is sure to cheer up a pouting person. It would also be a great way to start a play date if you felt your kids were shy. The song is easy to learn, is similar to Old McDonald in some ways, and catchy. Your kids will be humming to themselves in no time. This tune would also make a great song to play as you head out on a road trip.

“Why Oh Why” is set to a beat of three; a fast three, and it is fun to sing. Why can a bird eat an elephant? Why can a mouse it a streetcar? Why does a horn make music? These are a few things your kids will find out in this delightful song.

“Little Lap Dog Lullaby” is a bit of a misnomer, if you ask me. It is fun and addictive. Not something that would make most kids sleepy. Though does resemble famous lullaby lines like “Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird“, the pace and lyrical elements make this tune too fun to fall asleep to.

Songs That Are Fast

“Jack Can I Ride” showcases a Scott Joplin like piano accompaniment. The words are fast paced and may take a few times around to learn so your toddler can sing along. About midway through the song sports a square dance feel with fiddles and all. Be careful or you will find yourself saying “Do Si Do”.

“Soldier’s Joy” does feel like your little ones could square dance to it. While slower than the traditional square dance version, it takes pretty intense verbal skill to say the words as fast as Laura Veirs does. There is also a male voice on this song so your kids can hear both singing together.

Jamaica Farewell is included in the songs that are fast paced. In reality, it is slower than the others in this section. But I included it here because the lyrics are sung fairly quickly and may take little ones a while to learn. The calypso sway and imagery of the words makes this children’s song the right thing to do for almost any occasion.

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Got Boxes? How to Turn a Spare Box into a New Toy for Your Kids

Spare boxes can be so much more than a pile of cardboard to go out to the recycling bin. With a bit of creativity, you can create all sorts of new toys for your kids. What you make with a cardboard box may be their new favorite toy.

Shape Sorter

You can get creative by using a small box as a shape sorting toy. There are a number of benefits for toddlers to play with these toys, including teaching cause-and-effect and establishing motor skills. Simply create a bunch of shapes all over the box, such as stars, hearts, and triangles. Then, cut them out using a sharp knife. Your kids can, then, work on getting the shapes into the correct cutouts over the box. If you want to get fancy, consider coloring the different cutouts. This way, you can add some more learning by having them name the colors as well as the shapes.

Puppet Theater

Think about how much fun it would be to give sock puppets, string puppets, or even dolls their own theater to perform in. Old moving boxes are great for this project because they tend to be larger than your average Amazon box. Appliance boxes can work well for this, too. You can go as fancy as you want, cutting out certain aspects of the box out to create a stage. Then, you can hang fabric at the openings in order to form a curtain. It will make it a fun place for your kids to exercise their imagination. Plus, it can be used over and over again.


Robots have always been cool because of what they promise to be able to do for you. While you won’t be able to create the electronic components, cardboard box robots can provide fun for hours on end. Whether you create a cereal box robot or you use shoeboxes or other robots, you can decide what they’ll look like. Stack multiple boxes on top of each other and glue or tape them together. Use other household items like cups to create arms and legs. Then, let your kids go wild by adding some personalization using markers.

Roll up your sleeves and get a little creative. Find as many boxes as you can, in various sizes, so that you have more to work with. It can create hours of fun for you and your kids.

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3 Tips for Feeling Great During Your Pregnancy

Being pregnant is an extremely exciting and meaningful time in life. To achieve that proverbial pregnancy glow, it is important to take steps to care for your own body and its changing needs. Here are three proven tips to help you feel great during your entire pregnancy:

Exercise How You Can

Medical News Today explains that engaging in appropriate exercise can help you to feel better during all stages of the pregnancy. During the first and second trimester, you should be able to continue the majority of the exercise that you were performing before getting pregnant. Some women find that they need to slow down more as the pregnancy enters the third trimester. Walking, yoga, and swimming are ideal ways to get in physical activity as you nurture your growing baby. A regular exercise routine during pregnancy will also enable your body to bounce better more quickly after the baby is born. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

Pamper Yourself

Pregnancy is a significant physical change, putting the body through a myriad of challenges. As you go through this process, it is important to always listen to your body if you are feeling aches and pains. Do not be hesitant to seek outside help in alleviating some of the most common pregnancy ailments. Congruent Life Chiropractic says that chiropractic has been known to keep expecting moms feeling great physically during your pregnancy by utilizing a three prong approach (bone, ligament, muscle) to allow for optimal alignment and stability to the pelvis and uterus.

Nourish Your Body

There is no season in life where good nutrition is more important than when you are pregnant. According to What to Expect, while most expecting women focus on how the proper nourishment will positively affect the baby, solid nutrition choices are also important to keep the mother healthy and ready to face the rigors of pregnancy. Be sure to be intentional about consuming extra protein and calcium. The body will take calcium from your existing stores to nourish the growing baby, making it especially important to make sure that you replenish adequately. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids will also keep both you and the baby functioning at optimal levels.

The most important rule to remember is to put your needs first. Taking the time to rest and nourish your body will give your baby the best start in life while also taking care of your own personal needs.

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3 Reasons Moms Should Exercise with Their Kids

After having a child, it is easy for moms to put their own health on the back burner as the time to eat well or exercise seems to melt away. Maintaining personal health should continue to be a priority, however. One way to do this is by making exercise a family activity. Here are three reasons why it is beneficial for families to work out together.

It Encourages the Formation of Positive Habits

Parents are the primary educators of children and children are more likely to carry habits they learn in their childhood into their adult lives. Consequently, by exercising with their children, moms can demonstrate how important physical activity is and encourage that positive habit to continue. This concept has been supported by a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics where it was found that the activity level of mothers had a direct correlation with the activity level of their preschool-aged children. As exercise was a larger priority for mothers, their children participated in more physical activity. This effect can be heightened by working out together with children.

It Increases Communication

It's not a secret that schools today are violent, so it's important for moms to have a lot of opportunity to talk with their children and learn about what’s really going on in their lives when they’re out of your sight. Exercising together gives families a structured environment to talk before, during, and after the workout. Participating in physical activity together is also a bonding exercise that can make communication between moms and children easier and more effective. It's clear that spending more time together makes the bond between mother and child stronger.

It's Just Plain Fun

Spending time doing physical activities with your children is simply a fun activity that can bring moms and children together and build a stronger relationship. For the biggest benefits of working out together, you should invite them into physical hobbies you have. Playing sports like soccer or frisbee may be obvious activities to enjoy, but more structured workout routines, like yoga, are extremely beneficial as well. While you might not think about it, there are actually many positives of yoga for children. Yoga is known to improve posture and flexibility, both important factors for growing children. Yoga also improves mental health and gives children the tools they need to understand themselves and have a stronger mind-body connection.

With these reasons in mind, it is clear that making exercise a family activity is beneficial for everyone, in more ways than just physically. Seek to incorporate exercise for the recommended 150 minutes a week.

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