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.

Children’s Fitness Academy: Ditch the computer games and get moving!

According to research by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT). 8 out of 10 of parents say their children spend up to four hours a day playing games on hand held devices, games consoles and computers and are concerned about how it affects their health and wellbeing, especially poor posture, headaches, back problems and a lack of concentration, which is why International Alexander Awareness Week (8-14 October) will this year focus on children, encouraging and supporting their parents and teachers to help children and pupils be ‘Poised for Life’.

According to the STAT survey;

  • 85% of children (who are allowed to play games on such devices) spend up to four hours a day doing so. Yes FOUR hours!
  • 78% of parents are concerned about their child’s posture while playing such games. What child sits up straight when playing games? 
  • Parents are concerned that gaming and computer use affects their child’s wellbeing with lack of concentration (32.4%), back ache (30.9%), neck ache (26.2%) and head ache (31%) all highlighted.

Angela East, of STAT, says: “Bad habits can be formed from a very young age which later lead to posture, mobility and other health problems in later life. The Alexander Technique is a great tool – it teaches you how to use yourself correctly so that you benefit from less stress and back pain and improved posture and wellbeing.

“The key is to encourage good posture and sitting among our children and young people and the Alexander Technique helps prevent bad habits, such as hunching and slouching, from creeping in and affecting their health.”

One of my top tips for posture is getting your child to sit on a gym ball when playing games.   Without knowing they will be building strength in their core because of the instability of the ball. Automatically they will have to sit up straighter and use their core section to stablize themselves – otherwise they will fall off!

The balls come in all sorts of colours to make them more appealing to you child and all different sizes (choose a size that they can sit on comfortably with their feet firmly on the ground.) They aren’t expensive either – cheaper than a computer game anyway! 

 

Children’s Fitness Academy; Habits of Healthy Families. Lose fat, get fit!

Every wonder how families stay healthy, fit and thin? Well I have some answers for you! Notepads at the ready!!

Don’t go hungry – To stay at a healthy weight, you have to eat, not starve yourself. If you don’t fuel up regularly, you’ll become insatiably hungry, causing the hunger hormone, ghrelin, to spike. Keep healthy snacks around the house like almonds, chopped fruit and credites and don’t be surprised to see your kids nibbling on them throughout the day.

Make breakfast and lunch part of your day – Without a healthy go-to option for each, you’re far more likely to make bad spur-of-the-moment grabs. Starts the day with a bowl of oats with flaxseed oil, a few walnuts, and some raisins  for sweetness and make some soup for lunch. You can even ask your children to help you. You chop the ingredients up and then they whizz it up in the blender. Fun!! Serve with a wedge of crusty wholemeal bread!

Exercise 20 minutes a day—at home –  You don’t have to go somewhere to exercise, and making your way to the gym is just too time consuming! 20 minutes at home is simple; skip in your back garden, and alternate with crunches and push-ups; or do 20 minutes of a workout video; there are loads to choose from!

Be the food decider in your house – I know this can be tough for parents, but the big decisions about what to eat must be made by you at the supermarket; If you bring crisps and chocolate home, your kids (and you) will naturally want to eat them. Keep healthy snacks on hand (like nuts and pretzels) and fruit and veggies washed and chopped in your fridge. Kids will eat healthy snacks when they get hungry enough!

Children’s Fitness Academy; Ways To Get Fit With Your Kids In 2012

This year, make sure your New Year’s fitness resolution includes your kids. Doing so could make working out and losing weight a lot more fun!

Top get them and you in the swing of things, my advice is to engage them with fun things and even make exercise a little unusual to get them excited about working out.

For example, if you say, we’re going to take the kids out for a walk this evening, most kids are going to say, ‘Wait, we have to leave the playstation?” so you need to make the activity fun while making it something that is sports-oriented or game-oriented!

Children need at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity, including muscle-strengthening exercises. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. See the lights. Around Christmas and Halloween, there are plenty of interesting light displays to see in your neighbourhood – go to the areas that can’t be seen from the road and surprise them.

2. Aim for two to three activities a week, tol help you reach your daily fitness goal of 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week.

3. Walk to school. That burst of activity in the morning can change their day and boost their concentration levels!

4. Replace pizza and a movie night with family fitness night at least once a month.Have a match using the Wii, do a dance off using a Zumba DVD or play golf, by putting the ball in a teacup. Get the kids excited about it.

5. Check out the fitness attractions your city offers. How about Kid’s bootcamp classes like mine or a running group or rock-climbing?

6. Make a fitness wish list with the kids. Write down every physical activity they’d like to do, and let them choose a few every month.

7. Play like a kid. A half-hour of IT, British ball dog or Traffic Lights is good exercise for you and your children. Ask them to teach you a new game that they might play at school!

8. Take it outside.  Go to a park or nature preserve and climb muddy hills, climb over stilies or feed the horses carrots in the local field.

9. Make eating out or after-dinner treats a physical activity. Walk to the restaurant or shop from home

10. Join a running club or event like Park Run, or a netball or football group. They all offer opportunities for you and your kids to have fun getting fit. 

Children’s Fitness Academy; Let children play in the street to prevent them getting fat,

Over-protective parents must let their children play in the street to save them from obesity, Labour’s Diane Abbott recently the Standard (thisislondon.co.uk).

Ms Abbott, the shadow public health minister, said: “I think London kids are especially at risk because so many mums and dads are fearful about letting them play in the streets. I think parents need to be tougher on their kids’ diets to save them from ill-health. Carrying on with the chips and PlayStation 3 culture is not an option.”

NHS figures have revealed that more than one in five children in London are obese by the time they leave primary school. The problem is worse in the capital than in any other UK region.

Ms Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said Londoners needed a “revolution” in their approach to children’s lifestyles.

“Schools should be on the front line in the battle against obesity. Healthy school dinners and the teaching of domestic science are crucial tools in improving health.

“It is important that we develop an environment where people can make healthy choices – and that we understand the significance of issues like safe play areas for kids, physical activity and also of the advertising of junk food, sugary soft drinks and alcohol.

Childhood obesity costs the capital £7.1 million a year to treat, and the National Child Measurement Programme found that 21.9 per cent of London children were obese when they left primary school, compared with 19 per cent nationally and 16.5 per cent in the South Central region, which includes Oxfordshire and Hampshire.

Children raised in towns and cities were more likely to be overweight, suggesting that outdoor play and exercise could be a factor.

Scary figures eh?

I think we do have to be very careful of letting our kids run around in the streets. But if you have a big back garden why not encourage them to get outside and play. Playstations and computer games are really not as fun as old-fashioned games like IT or tag. Why not take advantage of parks too? Swinging and climbing and swinging all use far more muscles that pressing a remote control, which burns calories and helps fight this obesity crisis affecting us. Come on parents, its time we took charge of getting our children fighting fit and in the best shape for their future!

 

 

Get Your Children Moving With These Children’s Books

Happy to Be Girls – In this book, author, Sarah Davies celebrates that it’s cool for girls to be strong, adventurous, and athletic, whether they want to be girly or tom boyish. The energetic rhymes and delicate illustrations depict young girls unicycling, skateboarding, climbing trees, and inspires them to use their bodies to explore their world. Plus it has a sweet ending: “Loud girls, Proud girls, Stand out in the crowd girls. Being just themselves — Just girls!!”
Hop a Little, Jump a Little – This board book will inspire movement for the little ones in your lives. It shows girls and boys skipping, patting a knee, bending, stretching, and moving as they explore the world around them. I love that it ends with a yawn and a nap, showing tots how exercise can help them sleep.

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!