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! 

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

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!!!

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!