Fitness has always been in my blood. I have always enjoyed running and playing. My mum has often said how active my brother and I were. Poor Mum!
This all led me down an exercise path which I have loved. I did the, ‘2 workouts a day for 5 days a week’ at university and I have played many sports - I always loved the pre-season training. In recent years I have also done the, "I am so tired of this child no sleeping, GIVE ME CAKE."
After a few years of low energy and feeling tired, I thought there must be others who feel the same…but what is the answer?
I started to develop games and classes to engage children, but also get parents to be active, while also (very importantly) having fun.
This has developed into games and exercises to include the whole family - from babies to teenagers.
So, what is important for parents to know? What are some good practises? And what are the benefits?
It is important to know that our kids copy us. You will have noticed this whatever age your child is. Whether that is our kids constantly want to look or touch our phones - surely there must be something good on there as the adults are always glued to them, or as the kids get older, the things the kids say. The number of times I have heard my kids say something and I hear myself saying it to them, days or weeks earlier.
If our kids copy these actions, surely they would copy our fitness habits.
I have many clients that send me photos or testimonials saying their kids have also been stretching or doing a wall handstand on their NEW WHITE WALLS…I get the blame for these things mostly!
What are some good practises?
- Start with having fun with them. Children will make up games, it's just natural for them. Go with it. Help guide them in it. Most children love to go to the park and LOVE it when you join in. Why not try to be active in it? Even pushing them on the swing - its a great workout for your shoulders and chest, just focus on having good posture and make sure you use both arms.
- Take the stairs when you have the chance - with a buggy is a little harder, but older children will get used to it. We live in this world that wants everything easy and quick.
- Find a local company that offers you the chance to bring your child. Even if they have to sit and watch you. They will take it in and practice what you do. Or find a class like TNT Family Fitness, that not only let you bring your child to your fitness session but actively WANTS them to come and fully join in.
The benefits will be mostly unseen, at least at first. But with obesity rates in children and adults rising year on year, there is an obvious benefit of exercising regularly!
The impact of your dedication now will be seen for years and years to come. My Mum loved to play with us - I am sure we tired her out, but that has stayed with me for years. Emotions that we all feel stay with us much longer than memories. For instance, I don’t like Art, I have nothing against Art as a subject, but in senior school, I was told that I wasn’t very good at it and should drop it as a subject. I know many friends that when they hear sports - or a certain sport, they instantly don’t feel comfortable. Making generic games and exercise fun will have lasting benefits for you and your family.
In summary, you are the best role model for your children, they will copy all that you do. If you sneak in exercise and an active lifestyle they will copy. The benefits of focusing on an active lifestyle will not only benefit your children, but you will have more energy, more stamina and feel better - mentally and physically. Do something for your whole family - get active!
Find out more about Andy Thompson and TNT Family Fitness online:
There is some great information about preventing childhood obesity on their website and they even do kids parties - a great way of engaging your little ones and tiring them out for bedtime!