And keeping your kids fit too?
I was going to write about New Year’s resolutions this month, but things have overtaken us somewhat. There’s a lot of emphases on fitness at the moment, what with everyone (apart from the front-liners who are doing a sterling job) being restricted to their homes. The rules have changed, but the fitness rules stay pretty much the same. It’s interesting to see that the likes of the Green Goddess and Mr Motivator have been dusted off again lately, and Joe Wicks and his peers have been really propelled into our living rooms.
It’s important for all of us to get in our daily dose of heart-pumping, lung squeezing energy expenditure. Whether you subscribe to the 80s methods, such as GG and MM, mentioned above, or a more contemporary approach, you should put a little time aside at least to upping your heart rate. And I don’t mean watching a horror film each day either!
Being fit involves eating well, getting plenty of physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Quite often, kids will find their own ways to keep fit, but it’ll be more difficult at the moment. They may need some help from their parents; playing games with them, devising games, creating obstacle courses, organising family exercise routines, serving up healthy meals – you know what I’m getting at.
I’m putting forward five simple rules. Obviously, there’s chocolate and fizzy drinks, which are OK in moderation but shouldn’t interfere with the main events.
Eat well Everybody has favourite foods, but variety is the key. A well-balanced food intake will mean you’re body will be much more likely to get the nutrients it needs. As you grow older, your palette changes, so try new (and previously disliked foods), as they may now taste better to you. And yes, I know you know this, but try to eat at least five servings of fruit and veg each day.
Keep hydrated Cold water is the best thirst-quencher out there. Yes, coke, ice and a slice of lemon might seem exquisite when it’s hot but water is king. Don’t even mention beer or gin & tonic!! And for bone health and growth, kids need calcium. Milk does a twofold job here, therefore. Cheese and yoghurt are also fantastic sources of calcium.
Don’t overindulge When you’re full – stop eating. Keep the treats to a minimum. Enough said!
Ration screen time Video games, smartphones, tablets, computers, TV and DVDs give kids less time for more energising activities. I realise this is far trickier at the moment, but that’s where your parental imagination superpowers may need to become involved.
Keep active This is the crux of the problem at the moment. I’ve mentioned a few things throughout this post, and that it might be up to the parents to come up with something innovative to keep everyone enjoying their exercise. It might be a little race around a room circuit, comprising sit-ups, squat thrusts and star jumps, for example, to see who can get and then beat the best score. Running up and down the stairs is always a good one, and surprisingly fatiguing to boot! Crab football was always a favourite of mine when I was young, and it can be played in confined spaces too.
If you’re the kid in the family, you might want to show this article to your parents. Maybe it’s your job to get them involved in the family fitness regime?