Not only are they beneficial for the girls but they are also beneficial for me too. I am constantly moaning that I don't do enough exercise and when I actually think about it the girls and I can enjoy exercise together without even realising it.
In 1990, The Commission On Ending Obesity found that 4.8% of children under the age of 5 were either obese or overweight. The figure in 2014 was 6.1% which shows that it is becoming more of a problem as the years progress. I do not want my girls to fall into this category so i've come up with some ideas to help us and other families to be an active family.
This is the easiest way of keeping active. We even have a dog so there should be no excuses for us not to enjoy walking him together.
Walks don't have to be boring. You can make them fun by turning them into treasure hunts. You can use your imagination to find fairies etc. How about picking up some bits of nature that you find and then enjoying some craft activities later on?
Riding a bike:
Eva loves to ride her bike. When she was younger we used to push her in a smartrike which I'm sure has helped fuel her passion for cycling. She's actually pretty good at it. Ophelia is now 9 months old so she can go in the smartrike and Eva can ride her bike. It's great exercise for me too with all the chasing after them I have to do.
Encouraging sport and PE in schools:
The government gives all schools a PE and sports premium which they can use to purchase additional indoor sports equipment, school trips, outdoor playground equipment, sports coaches and more.
Education, Sport and Play (ESP) are the UK's leading provider in school play equipment. This is things such as climbing frames (remember those?) and playground markings (I used to spend so much time playing hopscotch when I was in primary school).
ESP commissioned independent research which showed that 68% of a child's PE lesson is stationary. I have to admit I remember sitting around, waiting my turn for most of the lessons when I was in school. As a result of the research and ESP taking action, there has now been a 19% increase in physical activity.
Eva attends a gymnastics class once a week. This is perfect for her as it develops her core and other body muscles. She loves it. When Ophelia is old enough, I will definitely be putting her in for the same class.
There are plenty of other classes you could take your children to such as toddler netball, football and rugby, baby yoga, tumble tots etc.
If there's one thing both my girls love to do, it's dancing. Eva attends a dance class which she adores but she also loves busting a move at home. She especially enjoys it when I join in. More often than not we put the radio on and all 3 of us dance around the house. It's great for keeping active and keeping a smile on their faces.
I do worry that I am not keeping them active enough but I also think the buck starts with me. I need to keep myself active to encourage them to do the same. Is childhood obesity something you worry about? Do you like to keep active with your children? What activities do they enjoy doing?