I’m a big advocate for #activekids. I really encourage my own children to take part in all manner of exercise, from family walks through to formal sports coaching. I spend a huge amount of time and energy ferrying them around the county and beyond for their classes and competitions. Is it really worth it? Can’t they just run about in the local park?
It’s been half term holiday for us this week and at the start of it I suddenly decided to set myself and the children a challenge. Shockingly, excluding activities which are done during school lessons, only 22% of children age 5 to 15 meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity and the proportion that meet them decreases with age. Boys are more active than girls, particularly in the age 13-15 age group. (Health Survey for England 2015). Despite wanting to give my school-weary kids a break, I set us the target of making sure that we were active and beat the recommended guidelines for physical activity for children every single day.
We’re at the start of half term week in this house. I know for some of you it’s not until next week. It’s February, it’s cold, windy, wet and generally pretty unenticing outside. I’m faced with a week of keeping my children occupied whilst trying to make sure they don’t spend too many hours on the PS4 or watching YouTube. I need to fit in some work. I also need to fit in my own exercise as I’m training for the Manchester Marathon. I don’t want to spend a lot of money. I also want them to have a fun half term! I know how important exercise is for children. I’m setting us a challenge. We’re going to have an #activehalfterm. We’re going to make sure that we do more exercise than the recommended guidelines every day. Everyone is going to keep track of how many minutes they do and we’ll see how many different activities we can include. Here are the current Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for children age 5 – 18 years. For …
I have big plans for my blog for 2018. I enjoy creating and writing posts and I want to use this amazing opportunity to help keep us all motivated to move. Whether it be an educational post, an interview with an inspiring person, a kit review or a personal anecdote, it’s wonderful to see the power of the written word. Comments and feedback, here on the blog or on social media, re-inforce to me that I should keep going – even when it’s hard to cram in the hours it takes to keep a blog running!
My name is Thomas. I am 12. I go to cross country races quite a lot now and have created a list of essentials that I need before, during and after my races. My races happen all around the North-West and sometimes across the country. You don’t want to arrive at a race realising you have forgotten something important because that can make you worry when you just need to concentrate on the race.
My son said to me, ” I don’t understand why people don’t exercise when it’s so much fun. Why would you not want to do it?” He has a really good point. Exercise is often seen as boring, a chore, as something you SHOULD do. A bitter pill that has to be swallowed in the quest for good health. If something is fun however, then you go back for more, you make time for it and it enriches your life. The need for constant motivation, inspiration and encouragement diminishes and the whole ‘keeping fit thing’ becomes so much easier. So, how can you make exercise fun?
Today, 11th October is International Day of the Girl #IDG2017. I was honoured to be asked to sit on a panel at the Bloomsbury Institute last night to discuss the challenges that girls face today and how we can help them to thrive. I was a little nervous to say the least. Bloomsbury is a grand venue where book shelves packed with works of importance line the walls. Seeing my book on sale for those attending the event was another ‘pinch me’ moment. My fellow panellists were: Emma France; Global and Strategic Development Director of mothers2mothers. Proceeds from the evening went to mothers2mothers, a non-profit with a mission to create a generation free from HIV and to create healthy families and communities in Africa. Anna Williamson; TV presenter, life coach, counsellor, NLP practitioner and best selling author of Breaking Mad – the insiders guide to conquering anxiety. Our discussion was chaired by Harriet Minter; journalist and broadcaster, founder of the Guardian’s Women In Leadership section and host of The Badass Women’s Hour on Talk Radio. I needn’t have worried. …
I quite often blog, tweet and post on instagram about what we get up to as an #activefamily and how I’m proud my children are #activekids. They do seem to love exercise, yes, sometimes I have to give them a bit of encouragement but they don’t usually take much persuading. I was curious to find out how they really felt about their own activity and exercise in general so I decided to ask them.
My last #activekids blog was all about the benefits children gain from being active. It proved very popular and set my stats on fire! I admitted that it can be hard to tempt my own children away from their screens sometimes, especially my older boys. There are however tricks I use to help me and I wanted to share some of them with you. They’ll be blissfully unaware that you have a plan! It’s always best to be one step ahead of children, isn’t that always the way with parenthood?! So, when you want to be active as a family, how do you get them to switch off, leave the land they’re building on Minecraft and put on their trainers and join you?
My kids love their ‘screens’ as much as anyone else’s. Getting them to turn off their devices and come out on a dog walk isn’t always an easy task. Once they’re out, they love it and don’t want to go back home but sometimes it does take a bit of effort, imagination and ‘motherly persuasion’. It would be much easier to just let them carry on sitting, transfixed but I know how important it is for kids to exercise. There are so many benefits and I’m not just talking about avoiding obesity.