TOP TO TOE FITNESS SUMMER FEATURE
Keeping kids entertained throughout the summer holidays is a challenge for every parent.
Fifty years ago, kids would have been out the door at 8am and not back until dusk, playing on their bikes and swimming in the sea. Now, we live in a world where smart phones and computer games have completely taken over. In light of this, here are some ideas for keeping your kids offline, busy and moving this summer:
• Create a calendar and encourage everyone in the family to suggest active group activities. How about rounders, football, ice-skating or trampolining for a start? Did you know, for example, that jumping on a trampoline can have the same health benefits as running for half an hour? Jumping is key to a child’s mental and physical development and helps to accelerate the progress of motor skills, balance and coordination. A hula-hoop is another great way to get your children moving and for adults to sneak in some exercise too!
• If you have a dog, give the kids the task of dog walking on a daily basis to get them moving and out in the fresh air.
• Go for pre or post dinner walks. Even if it’s just to the local shops or down the road and around the park, it’s something you can all do together.
• Have a weekly sports night to get everyone up and moving. create some exercise cards, featuring fun activities like jogging backwards or bear crawls. You can buy a ready made set of exercise cards from Fitdeck.com. Perhaps have awards for the best performed activity of the evening!
• Walk or run for a charity. This is a great way of giving back to society and many families enter events together. Alternatively, choose your own charity and plan to do a 10 or 5-mile walk or bike ride to raise money. Everyone will need to put in lots of training too ;-)
• Club together – ask other parents if they are interested in getting together with the kids every few weeks for an afternoon of fun, fitness and games.
While it’s important to focus on your children’s fitness, make sure you take time out for your own health and happiness.
It’s so difficult to find the time to schedule in regular workouts when the kids are home, and eating out seems to be a daily treat during the summer as picnics, as well as quick and easy food, take preference over home cooking and healthy snacks. Planning is key – if you are well prepared then there is no reason why you can’t make your picnics and lunches healthy. Make a meal planner once a week and add to the calendar mentioned earlier, involving the whole family in the decision-making process.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, as this is the most common reason why people discontinue healthy eating habits. No one is perfect and we all fall away from our best intentions by eating the wrong things and skipping the gym or a class. Instead of beating yourself up, use that energy to get back on track!
While planning activities for the kids, take advantage of local summer programs which will allow you to drop them off for an hour or two, be it football training or day camp. It may not be as regular a routine as usual, but you can create a little extra time in the schedule to fit in that gym session you promised yourself.
And, as the holidays draw to an end, remind yourself to REBOOT, REBOOT, REBOOT. Reset your system and get back to a regular healthy eating plan and exercise regime.
In the meantime, please share your ideas and tell me and the rest of Sittingbourne what you do to stay on track.
Enjoy the summer and remember it’s all about balance, having fun, laughing a lot and making the best choices for you and your family….
For more info please contact Charlotte Shaw at Charlotte@toptotoefitness.co.uk
I run two outdoor fitness sessions every Monday and Thursday at 9.30 at The Grove, Gore Court Rec (opposite long hop), there is a park and lots of space to run around, so bring the kids whilst you get a workout too.
For more info on my classes, check out my website at www.toptotoefitness.co.uk
or find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/toptotoefitness