Keep­ing up with the crazy kids

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - ADVERTISIN­G FEATURE -

WHEN we get the op­por­tu­nity, ex­er­cise is a time to de­com­press be­fore the day starts or wind down as it’s end­ing.

But when the school hol­i­days come around, any rem­nants of a chance to work­out go com­pletely out the win­dow.

While your kids are run­ning around in the sun­shine, most of your time dur­ing the hol­i­days is fo­cused on keep­ing them happy, healthy and safe.

Any par­ent knows how lovely it is see­ing your kids get­ting out and ac­tive. The school hol­i­days for many par­ents, how­ever, usu­ally mean a con­stant jug­gle of work, kids and free time. Just be­cause their days free up doesn’t mean yours do too.

Fa­ther and fit­ness ad­vo­cate Sam Wood has his hands full with 10-month-old Wil­low and high schooler Eve.

He be­lieves that keep­ing a healthy and fit fam­ily starts with you.

And if you get both you and your kids into a good habit of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, it will last a life­time.

“The school hol­i­days should be a time for par­ents to slow down, but it never seems to be the case. Even at my gym, I see par­ents re­turn­ing only when school starts back,” Sam said.

“The key is to ac­cept that when school stops and the rou­tine changes, this doesn’t mean that the ac­tiv­ity should stop.

“You may not get the half-an-hour work­out you’re used to, but if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, I say.”

Match their en­ergy:

It may seem like a hard task, par­tic­u­larly when most of your daily en­ergy is taken up with the kids them­selves, but Sam says you have to prac­tice what you preach.

If you tell them to get out in the gar­den for a run around, you have to be pre­pared to get out there with them.

“As a par­ent, you’re a fa­cil­i­ta­tor,” he ex­plains.

“En­cour­age them to do some­thing with you be­cause you know if you both go to the oval and kick the footy around to­gether, you’ll wear each other out.”

He rec­om­mends hav­ing a kick of a soc­cer ball to­gether, run­ning a few laps around the oval or even go­ing for a bike ride with the fam­ily on a safe bike track.

These ac­tiv­i­ties are sim­ple, yet ef­fec­tive in build­ing your fit­ness and help­ing your kids ex­pel some en­ergy.

If you’re the ad­ven­tur­ous type, why don’t you throw your­self in the deep end and go to a tram­po­line park?

“Quite of­ten par­ents will have a lot more fun than they think will. You’ll be amazed at how many calo­ries you burn and how much fun you’ll end up hav­ing. It’s one of those things you don’t know how good it is un­til you try,” he said.

Make it their idea: Set­ting a good ex­am­ple for your kids some­times means let­ting them come up with the idea of be­ing ac­tive first. That way, if you want to work­out, they’ll join you with lit­tle re­sis­tance.

“The key is to get en­gage­ment from your kids. If the idea can come from them first, then it tends to be more eas­ily adopted,” Sam ex­plains.

“Get them in­vested in the idea. If I say to Eve, “Let’s go for a run!” she’ll roll her eyes and go back to her iPad.

“You have to lead them to wa­ter es­sen­tially, help them make the de­ci­sion them­selves and then they’re more open to the idea of work­ing out with you.”

Sam be­lieves that as long as the ex­er­cise is en­gag­ing to your child, you can both build up your fit­ness to­gether.

It can be a re­ally amaz­ing bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, as long as you ad­just your ap­proach to suit your lit­tle one.

“With Wil­low, Snez and I take turns work­ing out with her. We do squats, presses and sit-ups as we hold her. Rus­sian twists are her favourite – she seems to think it’s a funny game and gig­gles a lot.”

— www.kidspot.com

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GET OUT: Tips to stay ac­tive with the kids these school hol­i­days.

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