The Jacksons, Week 17: Any Room to Roam Is Enough to Burn Some Calories

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

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Jackson finds a place for jumping jacks in the far end of his front yard. Credit: Deidra Jackson

What's up with all this cold winter weather in the Deep South?

And, more specifically, North Mississippi?

When temps surged upward for a change and neared 45 degrees one Sunday, Jackson and I saw our window of warm opportunity and headed outside for some exercise. Out the front door we trudged, bundled up and ready to put Jackson's remote-control helicopter into flight.

Living out here in more rural environs, we're blessed to have room to roam unlike my fellow challengers, The Drevitches, who live inside a big bustling city. Although our house comprises about 1,500 livable square feet, it's surrounded by one-half acre of land on which to play football, kick a soccer ball, hit golf balls or run laps, all of which we've done at one time or another.

We can also take a brisk walk down our neighborhood's main street and watch the emus, horses, donkeys, and cows that graze in pastureland next to our subdivision.

I really like that.

So while we weren't doing winded sprints around the house that day, Jackson and I did have fun grounding and then setting his helicopter into flight. We had to run and pick up the 'copter once it crash-landed, and do it all over again dozens of times, which we did before we got chilly and headed back in the house.

The point is, we got moving.

I'd tell anyone that if you've got the room -- any room -- to move about, it's just enough to burn some calories and put your body into motion. We've learned that you need to take advantage of the space you have, and get your muscles moving. As much as I'd like to believe that I can burn calories when I extend my arm to grip a forkful of food, and then flex that same arm to deposit said food in my mouth, I know that results come with much more vigorous activity, and likely without simultaneous food consumption.

Some of the most fun activities Jackson and I have enjoyed on our front lawn have been the ones that have gotten us the most winded and, without us even suspecting it, given us a great workout. Healthy Families Challenge followers -- a cheap plastic Frisbee can do wonders! Not only can you have fun, but you can also work some major muscle groups. A game of catch, a short game of baseball or kicking a soccer ball into a net goal, it's all good.

But even without any extra gadgets or sports equipment, Jackson and I find fun. We've been outside, "boxing." Imagine us out in front of the house, taking turns with our imaginary sparring, bobbing and weaving, as if we're challenging each other inside some imaginary boxing ring.

Regardless of the weather, it's always good to be able to get outside and just move. It's even better to inspire or be inspired by a friend or family member -- like a son -- who doesn't mind asking you to join him in an activity for good health's sake.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.



How is the Jackson family doing? Check in on their progress!


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.