About Lucy Miller

I am an established Fitness writer and write for magazines such as Health & Fitness, Men's Fitness and Running Fitness. I am also a qualified level 3 Personal Trainer and level 2 children's Fitness specialist. My aim is to get everyone moving and enjoy it!

Children’s Fitness Academy; Let’s get motivated

This time of year we can often find it hard to get our fitness mojo back. It’s cold and often winter can make us simply want to hibernate! So here are some incentives and ideas that will make you and your kids want to jump up and put your trainers back on! Xmas may be just around the corner, but this time of year is as good as any to get started. 

 

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Get walking – one of the best exercises we can do is walk! Walking for me is the ultimate exercise because it engages nearly every muscle. Persuade your kids to walk to the shops, get off the bus a few stops early or walk to your friends and families house – by doing so you’ll burn off calories, increase your fitness, tone your legs, bum and tum all while enjoying the great outdoors.

 

Get Motivated With FaceBook – Everyone loves Facebook, so why not use it to your advantage and use it to create your own Fitness Challenge. This is a great way of getting you and your kids motivated and it’s totally free. Simply set up a group and set a weekly challenge for you and your kids and their friends – like walk to school four times a week. Once you have done your set challenge, let everyone know and ask them to record there’s too. The more in your group the more creative you can get. Why not set a challenge to walk from London to Paris? The total mileage is 218 Miles, so walk with your kids as many miles as you can each week and see how quickly as a group you can walk to Paris by accumulating your weekly walks. The miles will soon add up. You can plan your routes on nifty websites like www.walkingrouteplanner.co.uk or www.walkjogrun.net

 

 Make a Date; Give your kids that extra push to get you going and book a one-off personal training (with me? Email me at miller82uk@yahoo.co.uk) session? ask for a programme you can do at home together or in the park as well as a fitness test, then agree to book another session at the end of the month to re-do the results. This should give them enough motivation to do their weekly fitness sessions so they can be the teacher’s pet at the end of the month. You could also agree a wee shopping trip if their results improve or an extra hour on their playstation as a reward?!

 

Sign Up; Put your names down for a race or a challenge for a great cause. You can do Race for Life (raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org) or just a local 5k like Park Run – a free weekly 5k in you local park. You could also give your child a fitness journal and ask them to write and draw about how they felt during each training session. They will soon pick up some great tips along the way, which they can share with their friends or use it for motivation when they need an extra push. Reading back at how good they felt when exercising could give them a little push when they have lost their way a little. 

 

Children’s Fitness Academy; Gifts for under £10

Christmas needn’t be about spending loads of money and sitting down watching christmas movies all day. It can be about fun, fitness games too – for all the family! 

Why not buy a fitness gift for under £10 – you will be suprised at how much fun you can have and how much better you feel about eating all those mince pies! 

Here’s some cool ideas for you; 

Nike basketball £9.99. shoot some hoops or make a team and see who can keep hold of the ball for the longest. 

Skipping rope £9.99 from Sweaty Betty – put on some music and each take a turn to skip to the whole song. You can also count who does the most jumps without getting their feet caught. 

Pedometer – wrap up warm and go for a walk after dinner – a pedometer will count exactly how many steps you take – compare with the rest of your family when you get home. 

Speedo goggles – ok so you may not go for a swim on xmas day – but how about on Boxing day? 

Londsdale boxing gloves – great fun! Pair up and get someone to hold the pads – punch for two minutes, then run on the spot for 1 minute. Repeat five times to work your arms and heart – lovely! 

Fitness DVD – there are loads to choose from! Get the family involved and see who can keep up for the whole duration. Grannie and Grandad too!! Image

 

Children’s Fitness Academy: Diabetes could be prevented by just one minute of exercise a day

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this……according to researchers just one minute of exercise a day could prevent diabetes!

Basically

Scientists at the University of Bath asked volunteers to perform two 20-second cycle sprints on exercise bikes, three times per weeks and after six weeks, researchers in the university’s Department of Health saw a 28% improvement in their insulin function!

It couldn’t be easier – why not play catch and get your child to run as fast as he or she can to get the ball or set out some cones so you sprint to one cone, then walk to the other and visa versa. Exercise can be fun and creative and as the study suggests, you don’t need to spend hours doing it to reap the benefits.

If you would like some more ideas – drop me an email or send me a message – my brain is bursting with them!

Children’s Fitness Academy; vitamin D dilemma!

Houston, we have a problem – it seems that we could all be falling short on vitamin D, which can make us more likely to be obese!

Also know as the sunshine vitamin, it’s clear that we aren’t getting enough which causes  higher degrees of insulin resistance, when the hormone becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar. This can lead to  the development of Type 2 diabetes!

News has also stated that children who sit in front of the television for most of the day, snacking on fatty foods, are therefore likely to have lower vitamin D levels and be overweight as well. The two factors might not be biologically related !

To get more Vitamin D – you need sunshine -which means taking your children’s playtime outside in the winter sun and chomping on foods, such as oily fish, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.

– yet another reason for you and your children to get up and get active. Why not take the dog for a walk, fly a kite or ride your bikes around the park. The brisk fresh air will not only make you feel ALIVE but also reduce you and your child’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes!

 

 

After-School Olympic Games

The Olympics are just around the corner, so why not get your children into the spirit of things, while getting them fit and healthy?

Give this game a go and get your friends and family involved – it’s so much fun 🙂

Materials

  • Each child brings a prize, wrapped up (used or new), which is then put in a big bag upon arrival.
  • Big container of lemonade or water

Directions

  1. Make a list of all the events you can remember from the Olympic games. Include other events that might be special to your neighborhood like grass rolling, acorn picking, leaf catching, or creek walking.
  2. Make sure the events are safe and appropriate for the ages of children involved. Here are some things you might include: running races, swimming races, softball throw, long jump, Frisbee throw, tennis tournament, basketball toss, etc.
  3. If you don’t have room in your yard, meet at a park that might have a swimming pool, basketball court, or other extras.
  4. The winner of each event picks a prize from the gift bag.

Enjoy!

Children’s fitness Academy: Children’s fitness and weight a concern for teachers

Wow – news just in reports that 87% of early years professionals are 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!

Childrens Fitness Academy: Cardio for kids

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.

Tips for kids’ healthy eating

Serving children healthy food is often VERY hard work! I don’t know about you but I feel I am constantly surrounded my sweets and crisps, which is not good for my sweet tooth!

To get your children eating healthily and to make your lives a little easier, I have out some tips together.  Yum! 

* LET children join in the planning of meals. Agree on a menu for the week and stick with it.

* Serve one meal for all the family. This will help to stop picky eating, although you need to be prepared for rebellion for a while.

* Make a sticker chart so kids can enjoy reaching healthy-eating goals, like eating five servings of fruit and veg for the day.

* If children turn their noses up at new foods, keep trying. It can take over ten attempts for some to accept a new vegetable.

* Canned fruits still count towards your five a day. Peaches, mangoes and tangerines in fruit juice are great added to jellies, yogurts and smoothies.

* Some children find the taste of broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower and watercress too bitter. Try others like squash, peas or sweet potato instead.

Children’s Fitness; a quick four minute workout

If you want to get your children moving but only have a few minutes before they lose attention, then this is the perfect solution. It only takes 4 minutes and is extremely fun!

Take it in turns to do it; you time them and visa versa!

Try this simple fat busting tabata routine – short and effective and it works the whole body!! Tabata is a fast and effective fat burning interval session, that takes 4 minutes in total!!

Run on spot for 1 min to warm the muscles up followed by 10 squat and reaches.

Then-

For the first 2 mins – skip double footed for 20 secs rest for 10 seconds – (in 2 minutes this will be repeated 4 times)

For the following 2 mins skip with an alternate foot action, jumping the rope like a horse for 20 secs, rest for 10 seconds (this will be repeated 4 times)

 

Jog 60 seconds on the spot to cool the muscles down.

 

ENJOY! 

Children’s Fitness Academy; Kids Ideal Christmas – the must have toys for Xmas

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!

HAPPY SHOPPING! 

 

Girls Top 10 Toys for Christmas

Toy Manufacturer RRP

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