Children’s Fitness

Once upon a time if you told children they were going to do PE, Games or Exercise, they would have groaned or found a reason why they had to be excused.  Over the last few years the government/schools have really progressed with new ways to make ‘exercise’ more fun for children. Generally now children look forward to their P.E. lessons and even join after school sports clubs. However there are those children who just do not enjoy the sports on offer or feel inadequate where sports performance is concerned.
Belinda understands the problem.  Here’s her story:

“I spent my life feeling clumsy and awkward where sport and exercise was concerned. I was always the tallest in my class and seemed so gangly compared to my peers. I did not seem to be able to do any sport or exercise well.  I consequently left every P.E. session feeling worthless. When I look back now as a trained sports scientist, I cringe!  – There is a lot out there that I can do; I am in fact good at most sports.  I now realise that it needed to be looked at in a different way. i.e.: I was always put in for the 1500 meter race at sports day – because I was tall = so they presumed that I must be a good runner! Nobody showed me how to run, nobody taught me about pacing and nobody even considered that they might be setting me up for a very big fall. I do not think for a minute that it is done that way anymore! But that is my prime example because I am in fact a very good long distance runner. In fact I love it and excel at it. I am a bit like Forest Gump I can just keep on running! I only needed to be trained properly. I feel so cross that so many years were wasted! Who knows what could have happened if someone had only showed me how! Everybody can be good at sport and exercise, but we won’t all be good at the same sport and exercise. For many reasons: Genetics, build, time, talent, enjoyment or exposure.”

I would love to see all children finding their particular talent or skill as far a sport/exercise is concerned and I do believe that there is something out there for everyone. If we were able to find something that every child enjoys we would go a long way to tackling childhood obesity. Children who are active and like sports are far less likely to be overweight and sedentary.

The government are concerned about the rise in childhood obesity and over the past few years have used the media to try and get the message out there about obesity. Statistically speaking the message seems not to be getting through.

The difficult thing about childhood obesity is the fact that it not only impacts on the child’s health, well being and self worth now but it has severe implications on the child’s future.

To try and get the message through in a harder hitting serious way the government has been promoting the Change For Life campaign. Part of this campaign sends nurses into schools to measure and weigh children. The results are then sent home to parents. The idea is that this will highlight any children who have a high BMI and are considered overweight. This is a good idea in principal and is probably the only way a survey of this kind could be affordably done – however – Fun With Fitness does not think weight alone is a good indicator of ‘fatness’.

How does it feel if your letter says that your child is overweight?  What do you do if you receive a letter?  Is it a shock? You may be feeling guilty, confused, or even powerless to help your child. Now is the time to choose to do something about it and make your child’s life happier and healthier.

How as a family can we help an overweight child?

Start having healthy snacks – don’t even buy unhealthy snacks, except when you really want to have a treat.  Remember that a treat isn’t every day. A little bit of what you fancy does you good – but all things in moderation – the same as for an adult.

Learn how to exercise as a family in really natural ways – go down the local park, kick a ball about – play on rowing boats, fly a kite, walk in the woods and maybe climb trees – go on nature trails, tackle a local hill, go for a cycle ride – the whole family taking the dog for a walk and throwing the ball – not just whoever gets the shortest straw. Leave your car at home!  Walk to school or into town or the local shop…
Some other ideas for fun activities you can do in Colchester are: Roller skating, Quasar, Go Bananas or Adventureland, swimming and there are many more.

The key is: get moving as a family.  Stop sitting down and watching telly or playing computer games; Buy a Wii Fit and play it as a family instead. All this will not only help your child but will help you sense of well being and increase your energy level too.

Why should you consider bringing your child along to a Fun With Fitness session?

Changing your perception of exercise will help.  It’s best not to consider it as “exercise” but instead find the things that you/your child enjoy doing and let them become regular hobbies.

The easiest way to begin to get fitter is to become involved in a group activity that is fun. Fun With Fitness provides sessions for young people to develop their fitness levels in a fun environment. They will certainly not consider the sessions as ‘exercise sessions’ but they will increase their fitness levels no end.

 

Fun with Fitness also offers Personal Training sessions for kids and young people. We might consider getting extra tuition for maths or English or even getting guitar lessons but how many of us would consider extra tuition for sports and P.E?
These session range from basic fitness sessions, that are fun, all the way to sport-specific training – covering skills for a specific sport or extra skills practice and development.

In providing your child with extra sport specific skills training you will also be giving them extra exercise which will naturally induce weight loss and fitness increases. The way to do it is to find out what sports the school will be providing for your child and provide your child with tuition through Fun With Fitness to specifically brush up on the skills needed for those sports coupled with rules coaching. Your child will then be competent and confident = which all makes sport fun and exciting instead of a scary thought.

Fun With Fitness also runs fun holiday sessions called STOMP which involve music, fitness, dance, percussion and jump rope. It is an exciting experience for children aged 4 – 14 years old! Why not enrol your child in our next session. They will want to come back again and again. Below are a selection of photographs, by Cathy Thornton, of local children joining in a STOMP session at a local children’s festival.

Benefits

How your child will benefit from the Fun With Fitness Kid’s Fitness Sessions:
  • Increased Heart Strength
  • Increase lifespan
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Increased fitness
  • Increased sports skills
  • Increased peer acceptance
  • Increased sense of self-acceptance
  • A’ like’ of self
  • Increased sense of peace and happiness
  • And of course – weight loss

Fun With Fitness also runs after school clubs. These consist of ten sessions which focus on fun, games, education, strength and stamina building.
Contact me for any children’s health questions or concerns – whether it is nutrition, exercise or general lifestyle advice.  I would also love to hear from anyone wanting classes or groups for their children or personal training. I am here to help!