Family Fit Camp

Posted on January 4, 2011 · Posted in Clients, Personal, Training

With the ever increasing growing incidence of health problems in young Irish children more and more Irish parents are looking for ways of getting their kids fit. Health problems such as Obesity, Bone Density Issues, Diabetes and Advanced Signs of Heart Disease are making parents more aware of a need for their kids to exercise. We find ourselves once again at that faithful crossroads of which road to take. What is the right type of exercise? What is too much? What is too little? How often?

Now before we discuss these lets clear up a few things. Firstly notice, I am saying young kids, not just teenagers. For some reason we think it is just a teenager issue, WRONG!

I see the finger of blame being pointed at schools and community groups for not providing sufficient activity for our kids. Wake up, it is not up to someone else to look after the health and welfare of our kids, it should start at home. It is time you as parents accept all the health problems our young kids are suffering with are partly your fault due to lack of motivation to exercise, poor diet habits and bad attitudes to the enjoyment of exercise. We should be leading by example, changing attitudes, let’s get fit with our kids, monkey see monkey do. Not only will it prevent such complications as heart disease and obesity it will improve their efficiency in the classroom, their ability to concentrate, their self esteem and studies suggest a more positive outlook in life.
I feel we have a grasp on the positive aspects of our kids exercising but have we really addressed what is going on with our kid’s health because of a lack of exercise.

If obesity is allowed to develop in our young by the time they are in their twenties they will be presenting with clinical conditions normally only seen in 50 – 60 year old individuals with diabetes.
Another concern, blood vessels should get wider with activity, blood vessels in kids of normal weight dilate 100% better than that of obese kids, if blood vessel diameter fails to increase or increase only slightly in response to blood flow from activity, and this is a sign of heart disease.
It is a serious concern for our children and obviously when you look around people are not prioritising it and if current trends continue within the next 10 -1 5 years more than ¾ of our population is going to be obese and it will overtake smoking as killer. Remember it is not just about obese kids, some slim kids are also very inactive and it is the inactivity that creates so many problems.

What should we do?

It does not always have to mean dipping deep into our pockets to get our kids active. Sometimes there may not be community centres with athletics close by or GAA clubs close by.
Oh I’m to busy to play with my kids, I don’t know what games to play, stop making excuses get on with it. It is simple to bring the family down to the park, bring a frizby, hula hoop, skipping rope, foot ball, hurl and ball, a game of hop scotch, a game of catch we have a load activities to choose from. All these activities can also be done at home, but sometimes it is good to change the environment. Do a small circuit of each. Fire the frizby, run to where it lands, bring it back, pick up the hula hoop do 20 secs hula, jog to the next station skip for 30 secs and do this 3 times. Call Army Boot Camp the kids will then think it’s great. Or throw the frizby to each other who ever drops it or doesn’t catch it has to run on the spot for 1 min. Or just the simple games for 15 mins, play catch, play scotch with a soft ball; kick a football around for 20 mins. Oh! I am already hearing the doubters my kids would not enjoy that that is usually the parent being lazy; well anyone who introduces kids to activity will tell you the kids love it.

What if it is raining, go to the pool, it is great fun. A disco with the family in your kitchen, I’m serious, a good tune comes on the radio turn it up, bop around with your kids. Every day I come home from work, my 2 year shouts music, we have to turn on the radio and she dances around to her little hearts content for at least 10 mins and I must dance with her and mothers with very small babies can bop with baby in arm and it is truly bonding. Almost sounds too simple to be true, but it is amazing how breathless you can get bopping with baby in arm. Play hide and seek good fun and active.

But folks do be aware if your child is visibly heavy they may be embarrassed to be put into sports with other kids, due to physical appearance and inability to perform at the expected level. Sometimes performing in sports can be more detrimental to their health due to stress on joints etc. Get them on to a bike go cycling with them, get a trampoline out in the back garden. If they are very unfit start with just 2 mins every day jumping increase eventually to 20 mins 4 days a week. Bring them for nature walks in your area every Sunday.

I hope this helps you realise exercise can be fun and when we just use a little bit of initiative it can help improve family values.