Childrens Fitness Acedemy; Your Spooky Halloween Workout

Happy Halloween! Follow these exercise moves to blow away those cobwebs and banish your demons…

Share this workout with your friends and classmates for a fun Halloween workout!

CREEPY CRAWLER  – Good for your arms, stomach and shoulders

Begin in a table top position with your stomach engaged. Walk your body forward about 20 steps then walk back again. Repeat three times.

 

SCARED BLACK CAT 

Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.

As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.

Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.

 

My scrummy pumpkin and seed soup recipe below is also ideal for fuelling your kiddie and it’s full of antioxidants too!

Hope you enjoy! I’ve had fun putting it together 🙂

So here’s the pumpkin soup recipe;

 

Ingredients

 

4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions , finely chopped
1kg pumpkins or squash (try kabocha), peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
142ml pot double cream
4 slices wholemeal seeded bread
handful pumpkin seed from a packet

 

Method

1.Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured. Add the pumpkin or squash to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.

2.Pour the stock into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the squash is very soft. Pour the cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can now push the soup through a fine sieve into another pan. The soup can now be frozen for up to 2 months.
3.While the soup is cooking, slice the crusts from the bread, then cut the bread into small croutons. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp. Add the seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted. These can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container. Reheat the soup if needed, taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with croutons and seeds and drizzled with more olive oil, if you want.

 

 

 

 

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Hey kids – how about some Trampolining fun?

Yesterday at Health & Fitness Magazine we did a fantastic photoshoot with an urbanrebounder – also known as a mini trampoline!

It made me think that this would be a fantastic piece of equipment to incorporate into my Fitness Classes on Sunday mornings at Coombe Bank School in Sevenoaks. (new 5-week term starts on 13th November at 10:30)

Not only is it such great fun but according to a study by NASA, hopping on a mini-trampoline, also known as an urban rebounder, is 68% more oxygen efficient than other forms of exercise, which means that you can exercise quite vigorously on a trampoline without feeling out of breath, but still gain the same benefits you would from jogging on pavement.

The unstable surface of the bed also forces the body to engage those deep core muscles in your abs and lower back, while the increase in G-Force and pressure created by the bouncing almost triples your bodyweight when jumping, so your body has no other option, other than to respond to this  and get stronger and fitter.

I tend to rebound every Wednesday morning before work. I stick on some of favourite music and bounce away for 30-40 minutes. It’s such fun that I forget I’m exercising and it sets me up so well for the day. I’m in such a good mood all day and had a good workout to boot! I LOVE IT!

I am currently talking to the manager at rebound-uk.com to see if we can get somerebounders on loan and to see if I can get myself on the next available course.

In the meantime jump around as much as you can – ask your children to be a kangaroo for an hour and bounce everywhere – its great exercise and will instantly put a smile on their faces. Now off you hop!!!

How your children can maintain their energy levels throughout the day….

Kids are funny. They have loads of energy but just when you think they can’t go any more they crash and burn – the thing is you want them to have a consistent surge of energy not a rollercoaster of energy and slumps. To make this work you need to;

1. Always eat breakfast. Include a slow burning starchy food like oats or rye bread, and a source of protein such as yogurt or eggs.

2. Plan a mid-morning snack, such as 2 oatcakes with 2 tsp of hummus or nut butter or some fruit.

3. Don’t leave lunch too late; before 2pm is a good idea. Never leave more than 4 hours between meals or snacks to keep your energy levels up. This is easy when they are at school but remember this at weekends!

4. Include a wholegrain starchy food in their lunch such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa or couscous. These foods are high in B vitamins, needed to make energy.

5. Eat more foods containing magnesium, also needed to make energy. Magnesium is found in wholegrains (see above), nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli.

6. Plan a after school snack to prevent the common 4pm energy slump. A piece of fruit with  8-10 nuts is ideal. Or try a raw food bar, such as a Nak’d bar or 9 Bar.

7. Only have foods high in sugar, eg cakes, biscuits, chocolate, pastries, as an occasional treat. sugar gives a short term energy boost but may be damaging in excess (to your waistline too!).

9. Take regular exercise like my fitness classes!

10. Drink around 1.5 to 2 litres of water, about 6-8 glasses spread throughout the day. Being dehydrated may contribute to fatigue.

What exercise did you and your children get up to this weekend?

Was you active? I don’t know about you but I love the crisp autumn mornings – they are perfect for long walks and spotting wildlife! We went for a long walk on Sunday and saw two deer in the field amoung the frost – I wish I had my camera!

There are loads of activities you can do inside with your children too, especially if they feel the cold! Why not replicate movements we use in the gym such as squats by placing things on the floor and getting them to pick things up or shoulder presses by lifting toys in the air 20 times. You could also get some bean bags and see who can sit on the floor and then stand up while balancing the bag on their head? Yes you’ll drop them but isn’t that half the fun???

Children’s Fitness Trainer – doing her own fitness things!

I learn a lot writing for Health and Fitness Magazine, especially when it comes to how to use your workout time effectively!

At the moment I am on a strict Paleo diet – where you literally eat like a caveman e.g. If you couldn’t get it back in the caveman days then you don’t eat it. So lots of green veg, nuts and fresh lean meat so to be honest I haven’t got the energy to go and do some crazy long and hard run at the moment. So instead of sitting down and wishing my energy levels would rise I went to my local park and did some running drills.

I basically found a football pitch and did one minute of skips, running backwards, side running, high knees and leg kicks mixed in with two minutes of sprinting up one end of the pitch and then recovering to the other end. I got a really good workout, all without being too far away from my house.

Next week I plan to do hill sprints. I would have finished the 14-day strict paleo by then so should well and truly have my energy back.

The thing is you really need to listen to your body when exercising. I knew I couldn’t afford to go all out today so I didn’t BUT the key is I didn’t skip my workout. I tailored it to my needs and did what I could.

Exercise is definitely a way of life and this is what I want to get across to your children – exercise is fun and a necessity – especially if they grow up to have office jobs. It really does help to get moving before or after work to counter-balance all that sitting down, the yummy office lunches and off course it helps concentration levels too!

Children’s Fitness, Children’s Food

To stop children getting too hungry, and lacking in energy, which can result in MOOD swings and LACK OF CONCENTRATION, we need to be feeding them every two to three hours. Adults also need this – it will help to get the metabolism going and help you deal with stress etc.  However, it’s not always easy to think of snack ideas to have between main meals. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

* Apple and a handful of unsalted nuts

* Low fat yogurt pot

* Cashews and raisins

* Mixed seeds and dried cranberries

* Raw fruit bar (read labels carefully for added ingredients)

* Cucumber and carrot slices with humus

* Mashed avocado on wheat free rye bread

* Rye bread with almond butter

* Yoghurt, blueberries and crushed almonds

* Roasted veggies and humus

* lean ham and melon slices

Cup of vegetable soup

* 2 x Hard boiled eggs

* Avocado and Prawns

Your snacks are the ideal opportunity to get in as many good nutrients as possible rather than simply be hungry between meals (that’s no fun!!!).  If you still feel hungry after snacks you may be dehydrated, so  have a glass of water to fill that gap. Coconut water is also another yummy option!