#advertisement I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #CustomFitRelief #DrScholls
The last two years have been a bit rough on my family – well, a bit rough on our weight, that is. All four of us have become more sedentary. We need to get back to healthy family activities that all of us can enjoy to get fit.
The Downside of Working From Home
My husband has been working at home a while now and the change from office work has left him with a few extra pounds. And me? I have the same problem, plus at 52, I’m in the pre-menopausal stage. Apparently, this is the “Ugh! My clothes don’t fit!” phase.
I didn’t realize how sedentary I’d become until I attend an expo in September. As a blogger, I attend a few events a year and I’m always the woman looking for the chair. At this event, I was loaded down with tiny samples and huge media kits. I was very early for my last meeting and had to crash on a chair because my feet were in pain. I couldn’t walk another step. That was not exactly the best impression to make on a potential client!
The Indoors Isn’t Always Healthy For Kids
When we are in our home, the kids feel happy but too much time indoors can be a bad thing. It’s hard to keep them moving in our home, and Zoe has been known to throw a ball or too against an indoor wall when she’s bored! Besides the restless energy that keeps them banging into furniture and other obstacles, they need as much sunlight exposure for healthy bodies as possible now that winter is looming ahead.
And it can get stuffy inside! Because of my allergies, I often close the windows and that can make it uncomfortable. I love my house but it doesn’t have the best airflow to get fresh, detoxed air into my home and release the germs and dust that accumulates.
Finally, when the kids are indoors, they love to do what all teens and tweens do: spend untold amounts of time on their phones. Unfortunately, new research is showing the dangers of EMF radiation and backlights from smartphones and tablets on all of us but particularly for children with autism. It’s just not good for their brains, even though these devices help them to communicate and do schoolwork.
The Benefits Of Healthy Family Activities For Parents And Their Disabled Children
With all of that, it’s important that as a family, we get outdoors. Now that the weather is exactly where I like it, it’s time for us to get outdoors. That way, no one is too cold or too hot, and no one is tempted to wander away or run ahead too quickly.
Here are some benefits of healthy family activities for disabled children:
1. To Stimulate Them Appropriately
My kids need a good deal of stimulation so we are not exactly a “hiking” family. Because of Amelia and Zoe’s disabilities, it’s necessary to find interesting places that will keep them engaged and moving.
2. To Balance Their Sensory Issues
Since both my girls have sensory issues, I have to be creative finding days, times and events to attend. Zoe overheats and rarely sweats, and will never wear long sleeves. Amelia, however, is constantly chilly. That means that the fall is the perfect time to get them outside, on a perfectly cool fall day.
3. To Improve Posture
My oldest daughter struggles with her posture so it’s best if she spends a good deal of time on her feet, rather than curled up on the couch.
4. To Keep Us All Moving
We have all put on a bit of weight. Both my kids are out of the charter school where they hiked weekly (weather permitting), in addition to gym and recess. Unfortunately, my middle schooler now only has one semester of gym in the year, just like my teenager did last year. They need more opportunities to move.
5. To Avoid The Electronics
Avoiding the tablets and phones while in the house is nearly impossible, so we need to spend a lot more time outside of the house.
6. To Bond As a Family
Communication is often a barrier for my children, especially without the tech. Going outdoors and getting engaged in activities we love helps us bond and brings a level of communication that we don’t often get to enjoy.
7. Improved Socialization
I was a big believer from way back that my kids are better when they are around their peers. Many disabled children can learn social skills and proper behavior from mimicking other kids at some point, even if it is a delayed skill. Bringing them outside the home and into social settings as much as possible has helped my girls learn a great deal!
8. Sunshine is Healthy
The best way to get Vitamin D is with sun exposure. Of course, you should be safe, but as much winter sun as possible can help prevent depression and boost their immune systems – things that are critical for kids with disabilities!
Outdoor Fall Activities for Kids With Special Needs
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get out and get moving as a family. The fall is perfect for healthy family activities that keep you moving and learning. Here is what we do when the leaves fall from the trees:
- Local farms visits and farm tours. This is a great activity for both fall and spring, but I love picking pumpkins and apples the best. And the chilly weather keeps you moving! You can also add on a corn maze, a hayride or other fall activities to complete your adventure. Then, wrap up the day with a healthy snack of fresh apples. If you go on a farm tour, don’t tell the kids it may be educational!
- Seasonal family activities. I love Halloween activities, like trick or treating in your neighborhood or in an outdoor venue that hosts these kinds of events, like Peddler’s Village, PA or Pumpkin Glow at Hershey Gardens. The kids get to scoop up candy and you get to enjoy a nice, leisurely walk.
- Local festivals. This year, I’m sad to say we missed the local apple festival, but there are harvest festivals, fall expos, and other interesting events outdoor everywhere around me. One of my local favorites is A Very Merrie Halloween, hosted by one of the many organizations in my area. It features local artisans, an historic home tour and pumpkin crafts for the kids!
- Train events. We travel a little further for these, but there have holiday events such as a Halloween train party and fall foliage tours, as well as cartoon character events for the little ones. This is a fun way to spend family time especially if you have a child who loves trains!
- Farmer’s markets. These are great to attend when you are pressed for time because most are very small. You can help yourself to some nutritious and locally sourced produce, foods and products. The most popular markets will feature bands and activity stations for the kids as well. Most of them are not year round, but many will go through October or November, or host a holiday event.
- Historical ghost tours. Naturally, these are not for everybody, but if your family likes a little scare, these can be fun and educational! Talk to others who have been on these walking tours to find out how scary they are and if they are appropriate for you and your family.
- Theme parks. More theme parks these days host Halloween evening events, and some are even starting to feature Christmas events! They often include trick or treating for younger child, some rides still open, character events and often Halloween themed lighting, music and other activities.
- Local zoos, parks and gardens. If you’re really lucky, a large local park, botanical garden or other natural venue will host themed events, such as “Scary Night Creatures” or “Pumpkin Walk.” These last two are great if you live in a cold area, because they tend to be less crowded and prices can be lower as the event hosts want to bring in visitors.
Keeping Comfortable To Enjoy The Fall
These healthy family activities can contribute to a long and exhausting day. I often find myself with lower back pain. A few weeks ago, I even had knee pain! That’s a new one, and it happened just after that expo event.
In fact, pain in your lower back and knees can originate from being on your feet. I can’t afford to be sore with all these fun, healthy family activities in my future, not to mention the fact that I have plenty of events planned for next year!
However, there’s no need for me to worry. I can get through long days filled with walking comfortably because Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts are an effective solution for foot, knee and lower back pain.
The really cool thing about Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts is that it’s easy to get the right fit. Simply find a Custom Fit® Kiosk near you. I purchased mine at Walmart. The Kiosk was easy to find (near the prescription counter) and positioned in a convenient location without crowds.
Creating Your Custom Footmap
Now all you need is a few extra minutes to get a fitting. Take off your shoes – I recommend you wear socks, of course! Then, place your feet in the footprints and follow the directions. You’ll be asked to lean in different ways and then to stand once on each foot. Each time, you’ll move as directed until the dot on the screen is in the right location.
That’s it! Dr. Scholl’s® experts in body biomechanics developed this advanced Footmapping® technology, which only takes a few minutes. I was surprised at how quickly – under 2 minutes! That’s because there are over 2,000 pressure sensors in the Custom Fit® Kiosk that create your Custom Footmap, which identifies your arch type, foot length and unique pressures.
Next, you’ll be given your recommended orthotics and more details on why it was selected for you. I was recommended the CF210 to stabilize and support my low arches. It can also help disperse foot pressure more evenly across my foot, giving me the support I need for days when I need to stand for long periods of time.
Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts are made of 4 layers, each with a different benefit, providing busy moms like me support and cushioning. They fit right inside your shoes! You can also try them risk-free. Visit the Dr. Scholl’s® Money Back Guarantee Page for more information on their 90-day guarantee. Plus, you can get $10 savings after purchase at the Custom Fit® Online Rebate Center, so be sure to save your receipt when you buy your pair to get your rebate.
Now I can get back to what’s really important – getting my family outdoors for healthy family activities, away from the tech. I can help my kids build memories that last a lifetime, without worrying about my feet!