Only a few days before the kids are off school for (some) an eight week holiday, a time when many of our clients find it almost impossible to keep up their fitness sessions due to lack of child care. So how do you maintain your fitness level over the holidays and keep the kids occupied?
Yes, it’s time to get back to your childhood, join in with the kids and have some fun while keeping yourself strong and active, all with the added bonus of a fitter and healthier family. Now, you may think that kid’s activities have no place in fitness, but you’d be so wrong!
Balance, coordination, strength, movement and cardio can all be improved, plus there’s loads of fun to be had as well. Our Personal Training clients will recognise some of these “games” as we incorporate them into our sessions (fitness doesn’t have to be boring and serious with us).
Ball games are very popular, in the back garden or at the local park. There’s the obvious, football and tennis but also volleyball, Swingball and simple throw and catch games. Add variety to throw and catch with different sizes and weights of balls and even add a rugby ball for more unpredictable bounces. These games will challenge your cardio system and help you move more freely. Rapid changes of direction will put your core muscles under pressure plus your hips and thighs will get lots of squats and lunges in multiple directions as you move around.
Want a more intense whole body workout? Try some crawl ball games. Yes, get on your hands and knees and try and score a goal against your opponents. Make it really challenging by doing a Bear Crawl (not having your knees on the floor) and I’ll bet you can’t last more than a couple of minutes! Keep practising regularly and your upper body, core, leg muscles and cardio system will ALL improve.
As we are based in Glasgow where we can have a whole summer without a dry day we have to be able to adapt our games for being indoors. Simple solution is to replace the ball with a balloon. This is one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment in our studios and one of the most effective. Balloon tennis will have you lunging, squatting, stretching and laughing. Take that onto the floor for some Bear Crawl tennis and you’ll soon be too out of breath to do the laughing!
You don’t need to be using a ball, have you ever tried avoiding being soaked from a water pistol? Or think back to your days in the school playground and try games like hopscotch or skipping and see how your core and leg muscles improve with multi directional hops and jumps.
Games like these will also help to loosen up those tight muscles and you’ll soon realise that you have more flexibility and greater range of movement.
The only limit to The Power of Play is imagination and when it comes to imagination that tends to be where your children excel, so don’t organise them, allow your kids to invent games themselves and then join in.
Will you be having some family fun this summer? Have you got some great ideas for new games to challenge movement and fitness? Are the kids so used to video games that you need some ideas for active ones? Please let us know if you need some inspiration, have a great idea or would just like to share your experience.