Good Move: Tips To Get Your Kids Moving

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While some kids never seem to sit still, others will happily laze about in front of the television or tablets. Technology has meant that many past times are now sedentary activities. Instead of playing outdoors, kids are playing video games, or taking care of virtual pets. Physical inactivity, regardless of age, has detrimental effects on mood, metabolism, fitness, and weight.

According to Active Healthy Kids Australia (AHKA) one in five Australian kids are meeting the recommended national Physical Activity guidelines of accumulating at least 60 mins of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day.

Being active helps with self-esteem, brain development, social skills, coordination, and motor skills among other things. By instilling a habit of daily physical activity into kids’ routines at a young age it will set them up for a healthy and happy life. Here are a few ways to help get your kids moving more

Limit tech time. I admit, I use to turn on the TV if I needed to attend to an urgent deadline so I could get my work done without any disruption. But I now make a conscious effort of limit screen time to certain hours of the day and I’m amazed as to how creative and engaged kids can be when they’re left to their own devices.

Mix it up. It might take them a while to find what they enjoy most so let them try a variety of activities before settling on one or two.

Active Transport. Find opportunities to build active transport (defined as walking, using a scooter or riding) into daily routines such as school journeys, local parks etc. Families and children who use active transport   to get to or from school are not only more physically active than those who do not but, also accumulate more daily minutes of health enhancing activity – take more steps, expend more energy over the day and generally have better health-related fitness. Check out National Walk Safely to School Day and take part this Friday 20th May.

Family fun. Make time to be active as a family on the weekend. Go for a walk and picnic somewhere, or try something seasonal like ice-skating in winter, bush walks in spring, horse back riding in Autumn and beach swims in summer.

Lead by example. Kids will take note of what parents do. By showing them that exercise is part of your daily life, they are more likely to have a positive opinion of exercise.

Active play dates – when friends come over to play, make sure they aren’t just sitting on the computer or in front of the TV. Get them outdoors as soon as possible and then let them have a little time with technology once they are tuckered out.

Back up plan – when the weather is not on your side, have a list of indoor places to explore. Try bowling, trampolining, or simply get your coat and gum boots on and go for a walk (and jump in puddles).  As long as it’s not bucketing down, you can still get some fresh air.

Active transport.

Get lost in nature – being surrounded by trees and wildlife is deeply calming and good for the body and mind, regardless of your age. Besides, there’s lots of things kids can learn along the way, like naming the wild life and reading signs.

 

Keeping Festive Fit

Your social calendar may be full, but that’s no reason to skip your workout. Prioritise your fitness with these simple steps:

Morning workouts

When you’re on holidays it’s actually easier to workout at a more reasonable hour. The earlier you get your workout done, the less chance you’ll have of skipping it altogether. Research proves this. People who exercise in the morning are more consistent, compared with those who exercise at other times of the day. Put your shoes and active wear next to your bed and get moving before the day gets the better of you.

Family fitness

School holidays can be long so why not make fitness part of a fun family routine. Circuit training is a great all-rounder fitness training which incorporates cardiovascular and strength exercises. Best of all it’s fun and a great way to spend quality time with one another. Try a mix of hopscotch, hula hoop, jump rope, catch and a game of tag.

Life’s a beach

If you’re lucky and get to spend some time at the beach, why not make it an opportunity to fit in some fitness. Try soft sand running, treading water, playing frisbee on the sand (great lower body workout). Feeling more adventurous? Try water sports like stand up paddle boarding (SUP), surfing, kayaking or windsurfing are exhilarating ways to step up your workout and have a laugh at the same time.

Something new

Use the holiday break as an excuse to try a new, fun activity. Whether it’s rock climbing, sailing, or long hikes through the mountains, challenge yourself to try something different while you’re away and break out of your usual workout rut.

 

Risky Exercises During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman on exercise ball

Snaps of pregnant celebrities doing crunches sends the wrong message to pregnant mums, according to recent headlines.

“Many women fall into the trap of believing crunches made the abdominal muscles stronger, when in actual fact, doing them in the later stages of pregnancy puts women at risk of tearing abdominal wall” –  resulting in that dreaded pot belly tummy post birth.

risky pregnancy exercises

As a mother of two, I have personally experienced abdominal separation (in other words, a protruding belly that lingers for a while, like even 1 year after giving birth). So I would like to share how I made a gradual recovery from this injury.

What is Abdominal Separation?

Known as Diastasis Rectus Abdominis, DRA is a common condition affecting two thirds of women in their third trimester. Put simply, this is the disruption of the midline connective tissue of the stomach, called the linea alba. The fascia widens or thins under the pressure of the growing uterus, causing separation of the left and right abdominal walls – hence the reason why returning safely to exercise following the birth of your baby is important.

How to prevent DRA (and pot belly post baby)?
Prevention is the best medicine to minimise the occurrence of DRA during and after pregnancy. Although it is beneficial for women to remain active during their pregnancy, some exercises should be avoided. Women who have very tight abs are at an increased risk of DRA, so it is important to learn how to consciously relax your abdominal muscles during pregnancy. This allows for better accommodation of the growing foetus. The list below shows some unsafe exercises during pregnancy.
✗ Chest lifts – crunches, curl ups, the Pilates roll-up/roll-down
✗ Oblique exercises such as abdominal twists
✗ Postures that stretch the abdominal wall – intense backbends in yoga, or lying over a fitball are not advised
✗ Any exercise that causes your abdominal wall to ‘bulge’

Recovering from DRA
For some women the separation naturally resolves itself, but for many additional care is needed. If women return to exercise too soon the separation can worsen, causing problems with breathing, back pain, hip and pelvic stability. To help the muscles heal, women can invest in compression garments such as the SRC recovery shorts, or a tubi-grip stocking. These compression garments encourage the muscles back together and support the abdominal wall during everyday activities such as lifting. In addition, it is important to gradually strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and deeper abdominal muscles (i.e. transverse abdominals) as these are important muscles that help hold everything in place.

A physio will offer the best advice as to the best exercise program that will get you back into shape again.