School is winding up, holidays are knocking on the door and soon any families will have some quality time together to rest and recharge the batteries. Over this holiday period, let’s focus on keeping the exercise up and have some fun with it! And, for our children, let’s try and keep the ‘device time’ to a minimum – good luck!
I can hear all of us old people saying, “in my day”, as soon as the sun is up – you’re up and out of the house and the last thing you heard your parents yelling out was “Be home before dark” – and even that was lucky to happen; most nights dinner was cold and left on the table for you. But the times, they have changed.
For the kids I have to understand that it is a good way to communicate with their friends and have some common interest and they can play together – without being together. In my day, you jumped on your bike and would ride across town, play cricket all day and then get 20 cents worth of chips with too much salt and vinegar and eat them before you got home, and then have dinner and bed.
Let’s have a look at some fun fitness activities to do with the kids:
Fun family activities
- For every minute of exercise give the kids the same time on the devices, one for one.
- Learn new exercises together – get them to teach you!
- Put 20 different exercises in a hat and draw them out one at a time – see if you can do one of each.
- Enjoy the sunset with the family or get everyone up early to watch the sunrise.
- Stretch for 20 minutes, twice a day.
- Make time for yourself – take 20 minutes to just sit, relax and recharge.
- Encourage the family to take a walk together every day before any device time. If anything, the kids will walk faster than they normally do!
- Body weight training: set aside 15 minutes each day to do four movements: push-ups, dips, squats and sit-ups.
Some tips for managing device time
- Try to plan device time around meals, that way you can make sure the kids are eating healthy meals and snacks.
- Get the kids to teach you new exercises they’ve researched – this way you they stay engaged with you and are learning at the same time.
- Keep screen time to 30 minutes, then it’s outdoor time for 10 minutes.
- Give the kids a countdown on their time, this gives them a feeling of control and that they won’t be leaving something unfinished.
- Swap device time for fresh fruit break time! Make sure everyone stays hydrated, too, with water instead of soft drinks.
Christmas, New Year and the school holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends and recharge after the year we’ve all had. Make sure you take some time out to rest and relax and take care of your mental health. Now is the time for giving and for caring, so be sure to check up on others, too.
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