Wow – news just in reports that 87% of early years professionalsare concerned that under- fives are not getting enough physical activity. And 84% of respondents believe that more children are becoming overweight, highlighting concerns that many of the toddlers in their care are becoming ‘couch potatoes’. Not good!
I’ve said it many a-times, so sorry for harping on but it’s sooooooooo important for children to raise their heartbeats to ‘faster than normal’ for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. This will prevent fat storage, which can lead to later life health problems resulting from obesity including diabetes and cancer. Making physical activity enjoyable from a young age encourages children that it’s fun to be fit and helps them to meet these guidelines naturally and it’s easy too! Keep reading my blog for some fun tips!
As adults we wonder which cardio exercise is better for us. We want to burn off as much fat as possible!
Scientists discovered that during intensive exercises, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles for energy. During low intensity exercises, your body will burn a lot of fat. These exercises can include running or swimming. But have you tried to get your kid to go running or swimming for the sake of exercise? You were probably met with moans and groans, which is why you need to make it FUN!!!
Kids need cardio, just like adults. The question is how to get them to indulge in cardio exercise, whether it is high or low intensity. Here are a few simple suggestions:
• Trick them—but don’t lie to them. Encourage them to join you on a fun outdoor walk and take a camera or a picnic. Host a swimming party at the local pool and have the children compete to see who can swim the most laps in the least amount of time. These exercises are great for kids.
• Make it fun for them. A mini trampoline can be used by anyone. This is great for the rainy days when your kids are full of energy they just have to expend. This piece of equipment is endorsed by NASA and can be enjoyed while watching television!
• Let them be like mum and dad. If you have gym equipment in your home, allow your children to create their own gym. Using adult equipment may injure little bones and joints.
• Get up a sports team. Not all kids are in organized sports. Get up a neighborhood football league or tennis team. Team sports will provide great cardio exercise!
Cardio exercise will juice up your metabolism even after you have completed your workout. What this means, is that your body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have stopped. And the more cardio you do, the more energy you and your kids will have.
I’m sorry that this post doesn’t have much to do with Children’s Fitness but with Xmas just six weeks away I thought I would give you a list of the most popular toys to buy! Yes I could say – your kids need a ball, a skipping rope and a bike to keep them active – yes they do but hopefully most of them will have these already – right?!
So here goes – here is what you need to be buying them, curtesy from the Toy Retailers Association (TRA), who carried out this research! Have fun shopping and remember to squeeze those glutes with every step as you trawl the shopping centre!
Barbie Puppy Water Park Mattel £24.99Disney Tangled Sing and Glow Rapunzel Mattel £29.99
Flufflings Vivid £18.99
FurReal Cookie Hasbro £74.99
Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Doll MGA £29.99
Milky the Bunny Flair £59.99
Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station Mattel £39.99
My First baby Annabel – Time to Sleep Zapf £29.99Sylvanian Families – Berry Grove School Flair £49.99
Zoobles Mama & Zoobling Nursery Playset Spinmaster £24.99 Boys Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
Bakugan Dragonoid Collossus ™ Spinmaster £39.99
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien – Ultimate Ultimatrix Bandai £19.99
Cars 2 Fully Secret Spy Attack Finn McMissile Mattel £30.99
Doctor Who Personalise your own Sonic Screwdriver Set Character £19.99Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Mattel £29.99
Nerf N-Strike Barricade RV-10 Blaster Hasbro £17.99
Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster Hasbro £44.99
Star Wars Ultimate Force Tech Lightsaber Assortment Hasbro £39.99
Toy Story Turbo Glow Buzz Lightyear Mattel £41.99
Transformers Ultimate Optimus Prime Hasbro £69.99
Pre-School Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
Dance Star Mickey Mattel £69.99Elefun Busy Ball Popper Hasbro £29.99
Fireman Sam Pontypandy – Multi Rescue Set Character £29.99
Imaginext Batcave Mattel £49.99
Kidizoom Twist Vtech £49.99
Lets Rock Elmo Hasbro £69.99
Octonauts Octopod Playset Mattel £34.99
Peppa’s World of Playsets Character £29.99
Thomas & Friends – Follow Me Thomas Mattel £44.99Toot-Toot Drivers Garage Vtech £39.99 Games Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
Angry Birds Mattel £19.99Bop-It! XT Hasbro £27.99
Connect 4 Launchers Hasbro £14.99
Dino Bite Drumond Park £19.99
Doggie Doo John Adams £22.99
Game Of Life: Adventures Edition Hasbro £21.99
Million Pound drop Drumond Park £24.99
Monopoly Electronic Banking Hasbro £26.99
Play-Doh Smashed Potatoes Hasbro £21.99
Where’s Moshi? Game Vivid £9.99
Creative Top 10 Toys for ChristmasToy Manufacturer RRP
Badge It! Bandai £19.99Bizu Style Studio Spinmaster £22.99
Charmies Magic Beader Flair £19.99
Crayola Story Studio – Disney Princess Vivid £15.99Fab Effex Variety Pack Spinmaster £19.99
Gelarti Designer Studio Flair £19.99
Harumika Bridal Bandai £39.99
Hello Kitty Cool Cardz Flair £19.99
Moon Sand Bake Shop Spinmaster £22.99
Play-Doh Twirl ‘n’ Top Pizza Playset Hasbro £17.99 Construction Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
City Harbour Lego £69.99
City Police Boat Lego £28.99
City Police Station Lego £71.99
Doctor Who Dalek factory Set Character £29.99
Geomag 66pc Colour set Flair £19.99Halo EVA’s Last Stand Mega Brands £19.99
Ninjago Fire Temple Lego £91.99
Real Construction Deluxe Workshop Jakks Pacific £29.99
Star Wars Millennium Falcon Lego £129.99
Top Agents Super Racer Playmobil £19.99
Cool & Hot Top 10 Toys for ChristmasToy Manufacturer RRP
Air Hogs Vectron Wave Spinmaster £24.99
Fijit Friends Mattel £54.99
GX Buggy Tomy £39.99
Hexbug Habitat Set Innovation First £26.99
InnoTab: The Learning App Tablet Vtech £79.99
LeapPad Explorer Leapfrog £79.99
Moshling Treehouse Vivid £18.99
Scalextric Velodrome Cycling Set Hornby £69.99
Spy Net Video Watch Jakks Pacific £49.99
Talking Moshi Monster Vivid £14.99
Lead by example – eat vegetables in front of your children and encourage them to follow your lead. My parents always did this and we have only just recently discovered that all my family aren’t fans of butter beans including my parents – but they used to eat them to encourage myself and my brother and sister to eat a mixture of vegetables.
Find a role model – find out who your children are inspired by and refer to those heroes as being big fruit and vegetable eaters. For me I always remember the Green Giant and Popeye as eating Sweet corn and spinach and I wanted to grow up to be big and strong just like them
Communicate with your child – explain why it’s important to eat your 5- a day to help them really understand how a balanced diet affects mood, body and performance. It’s not just vitamins and minerals that are important but it’s about looking after your whole body from the inside out. Vegetables are good cleansers and good fillers. They also help you control your energy levels which is good for the whole family to get the right highs and lows at the right time
Encourage inquisitiveness – inspire your children to try new types of vegetables. Vegetables come in many different shapes, sizes and colours now and are much more interesting that when I was a child. I remember that as a child my mother would take us around the supermarket and ask us to identify the vegetables to keep us interested. It was considered a game but it was really very clever. I was always fascinated with the purple vegetables
Experiment with taste and texture – fresh raw vegetables taste different to cooked vegetables. Just because they don’t like cooked vegetables doesn’t mean they won’t eat them raw
Get children involved – you don’t have to start with cooking. Why not go back to the field and ‘pick your own’ to encourage them to cook and prepare the meals with you
Be portion savvy – present vegetables in bite sized portions. By putting 10 small bite sized pieces of vegetable on a child’s plate it is less daunting than a heap which could put them off
Remember you are the adult – encourage choice but at the end of the day you are in charge and need to make sure your children eat the right mix of foods. Use the tactics to encourage them to eat well and live a long healthy life
Remember playing outside with your friends after school and on the weekends? These days you’re more likely to find a child in the house on the computer, or at a scheduled sports event. Research suggests that the lack of adult-free outdoor playtime may have serious consequences for a child’s development and mental health. There was a time, not too long ago, that parents encouraged their kids to get out of the house and “go play.” Today, many parents are so involved in their children’s lives that kids are not being allowed the freedom to have unsupervised play. So what’s keeping kids indoors? Experts say many parents are afraid. They worry that their child might be abducted, hit by a car or bullied. All this involvement is not easy on parents either. Many feel as if they are running on a treadmill trying to keep with all the activities that are scheduled. There is also a concern that their child may fall behind some arbitrary line that points toward success. There is considerable pressure on families to participate in this hurried lifestyle.
The importance of play:
When children are allowed to play, several things start happening. They make-up games – using their creativity skills, negotiate rules – using their personal interaction skills, and solve problems on their own- using critical thinking skills. Theses are all attributes that can serve them well as they grow older. Through free play, they are acquiring the basic competencies we ultimately need to become adults.
Research has also shown that today’s highly supervised children are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness and narcissism, all of which coincides with a decrease in play and more monitoring and managing of children’s activities by parents.
There are certain circumstances in which children should probably not play outside unsupervised. High crime areas are not safe for children to be in without the watchful eyes of a parent. It would be wrong to assume that the current trends are a problem for all children; some excel with a highly driven schedule. Because we need skilled young people to be well prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders, we must recognize the advantages to the increased exposures and enriched academics some of our children are receiving. In fact, many of our children, particularly those in poverty, should receive more enrichment activities. But even children who are benefiting from this enrichment still need some free unscheduled time for creative growth, self-reflection, and decompression and would profit from the unique developmental benefits of child-driven play. There has been a significant increase in studies; discussions and articles on the positive affects of child-driven playtime, but a decrease in the amount of time kids are actually playing.
While academics and social–enrichment programs are important; play is a cherished part of childhood that offers not only fun and relaxation for children, but great developmental benefits as well. Now where’s that tree house?