Maybe you’re concerned about your Childs weight, or your own? Maybe you’ve noticed your family’s habits and hobbies tend to be sedentary instead of active. Caroline Newman, a local Children’s Health & Fitness Specialist revealed how we can all make that difference in 2017!
Start with small changes to achieving a healthier active lifestyle. Maybe you’re planning an active holiday or wanting to join a sports team or peruse an active hobby and need to get fitter. Whatever your reason, there are lots of ways to get motivated and get started on improving your family’s fitness.
Creating a family fitness plan need not be complicated or overwhelming. What it really means is a new commitment to adding more activity to your life. Coming up with a plan for how to do that makes it more likely that you will succeed
Start by sending the message that physical activity is a fun and part of the family routine, healthy habits that makes you feel good, and not a chore to be endured.
Incorporating small but significant changes into your daily routines can make a big difference too. If they’re old enough, talk to your kids about what you’re doing and get their buy-in. What are their favourite healthy snacks? Which activity, session or club would they like to take at your local leisure centre? What family fitness goal can you work toward together and how might you reward yourselves?
Some families work better adhering to plans or lists. Children are used to displayed plans and structures as this is how topics are covered in school. Make up a large exercise programme for the week i.e. Mondays Walk to and from school. Tuesdays after School sports clubs, Wednesday Skipping and Hula Hooping etc…
While all children need daily physical activity, their interests and abilities change as they grow. Turn chores into fitness challenges. Chores such as vacuuming, cutting the grass, washing the car, or cleaning burn extra calories and give muscles a workout. Plan a weekend day when the whole family pitches in. Make a game of it by offering a reward such as a movie or dinner at a favourite restaurant for a job well done.
Walk the dog. Too many family dogs are overweight. Dog walking offers a great opportunity for being active, one that benefits everyone. Encourage everyone to take turns or go together on dog walks. Don’t have a dog? Chances are you have elderly neighbours or people who travel who would welcome the offer to give their pooches a vigorous walk. Another option: volunteer to walk dogs at the local animal shelter.
Dance, dance, dance. Whether its country & western or ballroom, dancing can be so much fun that it doesn’t even feel like exercise dancing burns calories and improves cardiovascular fitness. Have a Strictly Come Dancing Party! Let the kids dress up in their favourite party outfits and copy the dancing on the popular programme.
Step up your everyday activity level. If your kids love gadgets, buy everyone in the family a simple pedometer (a strap-on device that counts steps). “Challenge the family to see who can tally up the most steps during the week.” Set up individual family goals and achievements. Keep track of the results on your refrigerator with homemade planners, graphs and timetables.
Assign an activity director. Each week, assign one member of the family to be the activity director. The task: choose an activity that the whole family will participate in whether it’s bicycling, bowling, rollerblading, swimming, canoeing, ice-skating, or playing frisbee. The possibilities are endless!
Healthy Cocktail and Pizza Making. Again incorporate this as a whole family event. Buy in lots of fresh or frozen fruit i.e. blueberry’s, raspberries, strawberries pineapple etc… allow the children to make cocktails and smoothes in tall glasses decorated with umbrellas. Pizzas don’t have to be unhealthy! Make your own pizza dough which you can make without salt. Use fresh ingredients and experiment with vegetables such as courgettes, aubergines. The amount of cheese used as a topping can then also be monitored.
Backyard Bootcamp. Create a fitness circuit in your garden! For example run up and down the steps 5 times, Space Hooper the entire length of the garden or do 5 laps around the tree, Bounce on the trampoline 15 times. Step up and down on the Garden bench for 1 min. Obviously the Garden circuit needs to be safe.
In-House Boot camp. Replicate the same circuit – inside, great for those rainy days! For example: Hallways shuttle runs, Living Room Leg Raises, Bathroom Burpees, Kitchen Kicks on the spot, Bedroom Bicep Curls. Again involving everyone decide on some easy exercises and appropriate for area , plan and write down the circuit, nominate one person as the Personal Trainer, who can keep control and monitor the exercises.
So no excuses! Make 2017 the year your family all become fitter and healthier.
Check out Caroline Newman, Children’s Health & Fitness Specialist website here www.thedancelady.com and follow here antics on social media: @thedancelady on Facebook, @the_dance_lady on Twitter, @danceladycaroline on Instagram or perhaps if you have a question to pose to Caroline email her at: caroline@the_dance_lady