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.

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! 

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.

 

 

 

 

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!!!

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!

Why you and your Children should step away from the TV and exercise instead!

Ok, we are all guilty of watching the x-factor on a Saturday night (can you believe it was on for 2 1/2 hours on Saturday??!!) but did you know that every hour we spend watching TV shortens our lifespan by 21.8 minutes!!! 

Researchers at the University of Queensland say that all that sitting down increases your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes – not good!

I’m not saying don’t watch TV because I know your kids would hate me but why don’t you make TV watching a bit more active by playing TV bingo?

Whatever the show, choose words that will prompt you to get up of the coach. Watching X-factor? Every time you hear ‘Fun’ or ‘sing’ or ‘rubbish’ get on your feet and do a jump.

Or why not do five sit ups every time someone looks at the floor after they have been told by Gary Barlow that they were rubbish?

Who said watching TV couldn’t be fun as well as active?

What has your Kid’s Fitness Trainer, Lucy Miller been up to?

Running 13.2 miles that’s what!

I applied for the Royal Parks Half Marathon (http://royalparkshalf.com/) back in May – you know one of those things you think sounds like a wicked idea at the time!

It was actually good fun – I did Run To The Beat just two weeks before so I knew my legs could handle it. The problem is I went out far too fast and blew up at mile 9! My legs just didn’t want to go any further. I didn’t give it though. I just walked 50 steps, and ran to the next mile mark, telling myself that every mile I could have a 5–step breather.

That’s the thing with exercise – everyone session and every race is different, you just have to listen to your body and go with it. Sometimes you just can’t push as you hard as you would like to.

I finished three minutes slower than Run To The Beat but felt I gave it everything. My next goal is to beat that 1 hour 40, in another half marathon every next year – goals are so important in life because they keep you focused and motivated.

Now its time for a hot bath and a chill on the sofa – my work today is done!

I can’t wait to see what talents your children have. As I said everyone person is different, which is why I love working with children and helping them make the most of themselves and give them confidence to run their first race, get on the stage for their school dance or be an important team member in that team game. Exercise is fun and should be a way of life. The fitter and healthier you are, the more you can take part in races like I have today. Its so great to sit down on a Sunday afternoon and feel that I have achevived something and had fun doing it! If you want something in life – there is never a good enough reason not to go and get it!

Happy Sunday!

Time for a rest!

Meet the UK’s new childrens fitness trainer – Lucy Miller

So who is she?

Lucy Miller (that’s me :-)) is a ex national gymnast and currently The Fitness Editor at Health & Fitness Magazine.

 

She qualified as a level 3 NASM personal trainer three years ago and after transforming many clients into lean, mean fighting machines, she decided to dip into childrens fitness, where her passion really lies. So she enrolled in The Fitness Industry Education’s (http://www.fitnessindustryeducation.com/ChildrensFitnessCoursesforallages.aspx), level 2 Instructing Exercise & Physical Activity for Children course in July and the rest is history!

Since then she has been working with local schools, designing and co-ducting workouts to improve children’s fitness flexibility, strength, stamina, balance and co-ordination.

Her main aim is to increase their enjoyment of exercise because it makes such a big difference when it comes to other areas of their lives!

The fact is that regular effective exercise will improve concentration, enhance enjoyment of other hobbies and motivate children throughout their formative years – it’s so important!