5 Tips for Staying Active With Kids and Family

I just found this on Healthy.com and had to share!

Read, take note and have loads of fun this weekend with your amazing kids!

If you’ve got kids, of course you want to make sure they grow up fit and healthy. But you also know it’s hard to juggle work, family, and physical activity. Still, setting a healthy example is a good start. So if you’re looking for ways to get your kids involved, check out these tips;

Plan outdoor activities

Set aside one day a weekend to do something active as a family: swimming in the summer, sledding or hiking in the winter, or biking in the spring and fall. Taking along a picnic lunch—and splurging on some healthy snacks after a good workout—will help the day go by without a complaint.

Take classes together

Ask around at fitness clubs and community centers in your area about yoga or aerobics classes offered to parents and kids together. If your little one is too young to participate, look for classes that help you burn calories with your baby by incorporating them into your yoga moves or pushing them along duringstroller workouts. No kids? Check outpartner yoga or even doga—yup, yoga for you and your dog.

Redo your family room

Too often, family rooms are the center of laziness in a home: a comfy couch, a video-game console, a shelf full of DVDs, and nothing to encourage fitness or physical activity. There are ways to add in subtle reminders, however, without overhauling your entire room or dragging in a giant piece of workout equipment. Set a time limit on weekly television viewing and incorporate these Skinny House essentials to keep your whole family moving.

Make chores fun

Instead of relegating each member of the family to doing separate chores by themselves, turn chores into a game you can all do together. Race to see how fast you can get the house cleaned, and then try to beat your old time the next week. Play music while you’re doing laundry, and enlist the kids to sing and dance while helping to fold and put clothes away. Take the dog for walks together, and squeeze in some running, roller-skating, or jump rope while you’re at it.

Make over your meal plan

This isn’t necessarily a fitness tip, but it’s also worth mentioning: Families that eat healthier also tend to have other healthy habits, such as regular physical activity. If you want to slim down after having a baby or just want to eat better overall, get your entire family involved and you’re more likely to succeed. Take kids to the farmers market, let them pick their own fruits and vegetables, and involve them in the food preparation. They’re much more likely to enjoy their meals—and to clean their plates.

Healthy Packed Lunches Tips for the New School Year

Step away from the usual fizzy drinks and boring sandwiches that you keep putting in your child’s packed lunch and take inspiration from the British Dietetic Association’s (BDA) infamous New School Year Resolution: Healthy Packed Lunches.

They have recently issued some quick and handy tips to create, not only healthy packed lunches, but packed lunches that are full of flavour and variety.

Rachel Cooke, British Dietetic Association Spokesperson and Bristol Healthy School Dietitian, said:

“What children eat at a young age has a massive impact on their eating habits for life, so it is essential we get the younger generation into choosing and enjoying healthy nutritious food.

“When putting together a packed lunch, it is so easy to go down the usual route of packets of salty savoury snacks crisps, bars of chocolate, fizzy drinks and the same old boring sandwich day after day.  Many adults wouldn’t accept eating the same things day in day out, so why should children?

“Packed lunches can be exciting and full of healthy options and variety.  They need to provide children with the energy
and sustenance they need to grow and develop healthily and help them to concentrate in the school class.”

The BDA Tips for a Healthy Packed Lunch:

Back to basics – bread, cereals and potatoes…
Try to keep a selection of breads in the freezer for sandwiches. Using a different type of bread each day can make
sandwiches more interesting. Try multigrain and seed rolls, bagels, baguettes, pitta breads, wraps…the list is endless! (Children have reported they like meat / cheese or fish etc and bread separate so it doesn’t go soggy)

You could also raid the fridge for leftovers – some foods taste just as good cold such as pizza or pasta. Cook extra pasta, couscous or rice. Mix it with cut-up vegetables, a few nuts flaked tuna or mackerel.

Filling the void – meat, fish and alternatives…
Try to include lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans or pulses in your 
lunchbox like
* Tuna with cucumber, green pepper, sweetcorn or tomato
* 
Low fat hummus and cucumber
* Egg and cress
* Cottage cheese and dried apricots
* 
Cooked chicken or turkey, tomatoes, and
lettuce
* 
Peanut butter and banana (my fav!)
* 
Grated cheese and tomato
* Oily fish, such as salmon sandwich or mackerel pasta salad

Remember, if you are using a spread choose a reduced fat one – or do without it completely if you are using a moist filling.

Vegging out or Feeling fruity..?
It’s important to eat 5 (or more) portions of fruit and vegetables every day. You won’t be stuck for choice when it comes to lunchtime:

* fresh fruit e.g. apple, grapes, banana, kiwi fruit (children have also said they like different fruits every day and not
always the traditional choices e.g.. wedge of  melon / peeled orange / kiwi and spoon / pot of strawberries. Why not
surprise your child with a different fruit / veg choice every day of the week?)
* 
dried fruits, e.g. raisins, apricots
* chopped raw vegetables e.g. carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes or a mixed salad
* tinned fruit in natural juice – pop in a small container or buy small tins with a ring pull

Dairy delights…
Try to include some dairy products in your lunchbox – important to keep your teeth healthy and your bones strong (remember to look at sugar levels – 5g equals about one teaspoon):
* low fat yogurt – plain or fruit flavoured
* low fat fromage frais
* small pot of rice pudding or custard
* 
Milk / fruit-based milkshakes

 Tasty treats…
Fancy something sweet in your lunch-box? There’s nothing wrong with this. Just try and make healthier choices when you can:
* currant bun, scone or fruit loaf,
* plain popcorn
* cereal bar (remember to look at sugar levels)
* 
fun sized bar of chocolate

Put in a drink…
Choose from:
* 
Plain water (still or sparkling)
* Plain milk (skimmed or semi-skimmed) or plain yoghurt combined with fruit e.g. smoothies, pureed fruit with plain yoghurt
* Pure fruit juice in small cartons or in a small bottle
* Hot drinks in the winter, e.g. soups

Keep cool…
Use a cool bag and pop in an ice-pack or freeze a carton of juice and place in with food to keep cool
* 
Keep in the fridge until morning if you make it the night before
* Don’t store your lunch next to a radiator or in the sun

Children’s Fitness Academy: Two thirds of obese children show early signs of heart disease

I found the news that two out of every three severely obese children already have at least one health problem that increases the risk of heart disease very sad today. Heart disease isn”t for kids…its for the elderly who have lived their lives to the full and unfortunately been struck down by this awful illness.

Basically be the age of 12, the study found that the kids had high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose.

 

The figures could mean that thousands of British children are also affected after experts here warned children as young as seven were being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity.

Just over half of these 307 children were boys. They tended to be more severely obese at the younger end of the age spectrum; the reverse was true of girls. So what can we do?

Starting heart-healthy habits right now, that’s what! Don’t smoke, for one. And be sure to eat healthy, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. Your heart and blood vessels will thank you later!

Most kids don’t need to be on diets……but here’s something kids can do to eat healthier and that’s learn the difference between GoSlow, and Whoa foods.

Go Foods

These are foods that are good to eat almost anytime. They are the healthiest ones, like all fruits, vegetables, low fat diary, lean protein and water

Slow Foods

These are sometimes foods. They aren’t off-limits, but they shouldn’t be eaten every day. At most, eat them several times a week, like oven-baked chips, bread, hamburgers, popcorn and fruit juice.

Whoa Foods

These foods should make you say exactly that — Whoa! Should I eat that? Whoa foods are the least healthy and the most likely to cause weight problems, especially if a person eats them all the time. That’s why Whoa foods are once-in-a-while foods like sweets, fried foods, cheese, donuts, hot dogs, fizzy drinks and creamy sauces.

You also need to avoid anything with Trans Fats in…..they clog up your heart, as your body can’t process them! This kind of oil is used in crackers and snack foods, but it’s been found to be very unhealthy for your heart and can be listed on packaging as either Trans fats or Hydrogenated oils.  YUK!

 

Fitness Academy: How to Cook with Protein

If you’re looking for more interesting and convenient ways to boost your protein intake, why not try incorporating whey protein into your diet? Not only is it easy to digest, it also serves as one of the best sources of protein for immediate muscle repair after working out. Whey is also naturally low in fat and can be a great supplement for weight maintenance.

To help you fuel up, here are two delicious and healthy ways to conveniently add this versatile ingredient to your diet – yum!

1) Chocolate protein ice cream (serves 2)
Chop one small banana and two large dates and add to a large bowl with 35g of chocolate flavoured whey protein, 1 tbsp of ground almonds, 1/8 cup of cocoa powder and ½ cup of cottage cheese.  Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and place the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove the bowl from the freezer and stir the mixture until it becomes thicker and creamier. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes, before removing it once more and giving the mixture a final stir and serving.

2)  Protein muffins (serves 8)
In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1/2 cup of goji berries, 1/2 cup of quinoa flakes, 1/2 cup of chocolate hemp protein, 1/4 cup of blueberry and apple puree, 3 tbsp of chestnut flour, 3 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of baking soda until it forms a thick paste. Line a muffin tray with eight paper muffin cases and equally divide the mixture into eight portions. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes at gas mark 3/170°C. Remove from oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes and then serve.

These are not only guilt-free but they are also absolutely delicious – yum! I love to have it after a hard workout to help me to refuel and help my body recover! 

 

I know, I know!

I haven’t been on here for ages! What have I been doing? Planning my wedding that’s what!

To do this – I have been eating pretty clean (Of course there have been a few treats!!) and training hard! At the moment, I’m loving CrossFit.

Here is the hardest workout I have done so far!

It is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. We’ve used this in 3 and 5 round versions. The stations were;

  1. Wallballs: 20 pound ball, 10 ft target. (Reps)
  2. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull: 75 pounds (Reps)
  3. Box Jump: 20″ box (Reps)
  4. Push Press: 75 pounds (Reps)
  5. Row: calories (Calories)

The clock is not allowed to reset or stop between exercises and on the call of “rotate,” I had to move to the next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

I did the WOD as prescribed for women, so I used a 6kg medicine ball for the Wallballs and 25kg for the Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls and Push Presses.

After the combo of Wallballs + Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls + Box Jumps, my legs are pretty exhausted! I’m shattered!

Lucy Miller Personal Trainer; Weekly Workout Plan

As well as training children, there is nothing I like more than training myself, friends and women who what to change their body. The thing is, if you’re after some serious body composition changes and ready to get fit, strong and lean, then you need to follow some guidelines;  

1) Lift heavy 1-3 times a week.
Heavy might mean your body weight to begin with or it might be some serious weights, it depends what level you are.  Just remember when lifting heavy you’re technique needs to be perfect. If you’re not sure how to squat, lunge or push press properly then invest in yourself and pay a personal trainer to help you. Just a few sessions should do the trick.

2) High Intensity Interval Training every other day
This can be done by either sprinting out doors, on a machine or with a skipping rope. Try going hard for 60 seconds followed by a 2 minute recovery for 20 minutes.

3) Yoga once a week 
Stretching needs to be given it’s own time and proper attention, the simplest way to be sure you are dong it is to join a yoga class. If you can spare the time, then buy a DVD that you can do at home or spend 15 minutes every night before bed with a foam roller and some stretch bands.

4) Walk – don’t take the car
A great one you can do with the kids – walking is fantastic for health. If you are already fit, it’s not going to give you big body composition changes but ievery little helps and it’s an excellent to reduce stress and  get some fresh air!

Get lifting, sprinting, stretching and walking – and if you need a helping hand, don’t forget to drop me a line. I’m here to help – miller82uk@yahoo.co.uk

Children’s fitness Academy; How to put an end to Childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is a complex issue with no simple solutions, but involving the entire family in weight loss and health may help kids achieve their goals!

A scientific statement released Monday in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Assn. reviews strategies shown to be successful in helping kids slim down.

For example why not try changing the kitchen around to make more wholesome foods more accessible?  Some studies this to be helpful in losing weight in the short-term.
or
Set small, achievable goals that are age-appropriate that may get kids to stick to more healthful habits, like walk to school three times this week, or try a new vegetable EVERY DAY!

Other useful approaches include praising kids for what they’re doing right — instead of punishing them for what they’re doing wrong – give them 50p extra pocket money when they have eaten all the vegetables on their plate, or take them to see their friends to play once they have helped you create a healthy shopping list for the week.

Sometimes a little something goes a long way – and who can put a price on health and well-being these days? No one! xx