Your County spoke to The Holbrook Club for their tips on children’s fitness, following their recent Fit for Sport event that encouraged Sussex children to get active and enjoy healthy snacks.
Make being active fun
As adults it’s easy to imagine getting fit involving an hour spent on the treadmill, but it doesn’t need to be this monotonous, especially for children. As long as they’re moving around they’ll be building stamina and helping their heart be healthy.
One of the best ways to make it fun is to turn to team sports, such as tennis or football. These don’t need to be competitive, especially for young children as the main benefit is giving them an aim to run about. This can be easy to arrange around work commitments as after school events with late pick-ups.
One of the best and most effective ways to improve children’s health is to manage portion sizes for home meals. Guidelines for these can be found on the Government’s health advice site and their recommendations also take a look at sugar intake, which can sometimes be hard to quantify.
It’s important to remember that children need less calories and therefore less food than adults. Check in with your kids as they eat to see if they’re enjoying the meal and if they feel full; it could also be a good idea to have a house rule of not snacking when you’re already full after a meal.
When it comes to exercise and eating, think outside of the box. There are plenty of great days out in Sussex, such as Drusillas Park, as well as a number of parks to try out ball sports.
Abbots Wood has two walking trails, a lake and picnic sites. Why not spend the day here with a break for a healthy lunch of locally sourced fruit and wholemeal sandwiches? The great thing about this is that it won’t even feel like exercise to children who will just be having fun with you and their family.
Research local clubs
Sometimes you will have other commitments meaning that you won’t be able to invest as much time as you’d like in your children’s fitness. This is nothing to feel guilty about and can be easily resolved if you research local clubs and sign them up for relevant events.
Most local clubs will offer supervised classes for a range of abilities on popular sports, which are likely to take the interest of young kids. Ask other parents if they’re interested in arranging a carpool to these clubs to make it more convenient for everyone.
However you structure your time to improve your children’s health, know that it’s an ongoing process and if you keep an eye on the foods they eat and make sure they lead active lives, you’re sure to help them become healthy adults