Many moms delight in playing with their kids. While you may not have stopped to think about it, engaging in this regular play also has health benefits as well. When you are playing with your children, you burn significantly more calories than you would if you were engaging in a slower-paced activity.
Instead of spending time away from your kids working out at the gym to reach your weight loss goals, head out to play with your children. As a Harvard Medical School study found, playing with your children is an effective way of burning excess calories. Research found that by engaging in moderate play for 30 minutes, a 155-lb. adult burns 149 calories. By amping up the energy a bit and engaging in vigorous play, this same individual can increase his calorie burn to 186 calories.
When you take play time to the water, you can burn even more calories. Because water provides natural resistance, movement in the water is more challenging for your body and, as a result, you burn more calories. By swimming around the pool with your child, perhaps engaging in a round of Marco Polo, you can burn approximately 400 calories in 30 minutes.
The Run Around
Instead of going for a solo run, engage in some running with your child. By playing a game of tag or chasing your child in circles around the backyard you not only delight your kid, but you also can get your heart rate up and burn some major calories. As Harvard Medical School reports, 30 minutes of running will burn anywhere from 465 to 539 calories in a 155-lb. person.
Impact of Weight
The amount you currently weigh plays a large part in determining how many calories you burn through play. By engaging in a simple game of hopscotch, for example, a 125-lb. person will burn 150 calories in 30 minutes, a 155-lb. person will burn 186 calories and a 185-lb. person will burn 222 calories. This calorie burn difference is due to the fact that those who weigh more must work more to move their body weight.
Making Playtime Count
To make the most of play time with your child, focus on keeping your heart rate elevated the whole time. Instead of chasing your child and then stopping again and again, keep moving the whole time. Doing so will keep your heart pumping and likely tire out your kid as well.