Image by Fakelvis
As a parent, I’m ever aware that my children need to be healthy. We parents are bombarded by adverts for healthy eating and exercise are we? Having been an overweight child and teen, I want my children to have fun whilst exercise and to not grow up thinking it’s a chore in order to fit into your clothes.
I first began asking round the community centres for ideas. I found a whole host of after school activities for groups of children. These groups sounded great but I wanted to stay involved and to keep costs low. I therefore decided to set up my own timetable of activities and encouraged other families and friends to join us. Here are my top five favourite activities to getting the family active together:
This exercise will never get dull. It gets the heart rate up, improved rhythm, coordination and group interaction. Getting everyone involved in choosing the music and setting up the disco (aka. the dining room) was such fun. Simple routines got all involved and allowed a showcase at the end. It reminded me so much of when I was a child.
As obvious as it sounds, people forget how fun and easy this exercise is. It improves balance, freedom, cardio and it’s fun, all rolled into one. You don’t need to rush out and buy yourself new bikes either. Borrowing from friends, hiring from a local shop or buying second-hand ones from Gumtree will all do. Finding National Trust grounds to cycle round can take out the worry of roads and can offer a wonderful way of getting out into beautiful countryside.
Juggling Poi and Clubs increases co-ordination, special awareness, concentration, rhythm and apparently increases brain size! This activity took me awhile to grasp and was a little frustrating but the kids adapted to it quickly. After several weeks, there was much improvement, not to mention a great sense of achievement, even if there were balls everywhere for a while. If you fancy some inspiration, take a look at this guy.
4) Outdoor Gyms
Finding new parks and making use of the government-funded gym equipment can really get everyone going. It makes a nice change from the local children’s climbing frames and allows parents to get a good work out too.
5) Activity Trips
Now this one was a little cheating as it did add up in the end but it was a treat for us all. We visited Go Ape but there are a lot of indoor and outdoor activity centre to go to. Climbing, archery, swimming, soft play areas etc, can all add up to hours of joy filled, health exercise in the end.
So those are the ways I’ve been keeping my family and friends involved exercise recently. Do you have any methods to share?
Estelle Page is a thirty something interior designer, loving life with her husband and two beautiful children. She loves a local garden show or going for coffee with the girls. She enjoys creative writing and is a blogger for Dunster House.