Up and about
Bodies weren’t designed to sit down all the time – they need to walk, jump, run and move in order to:
- be healthy;
- grow properly;
- use up the right amount of energy.
The fact is that bodies that are inactive don’t burn off enough energy and store up fat in their body - yuk.
Up and about is all about trying to get kids moving whenever they can during the day. Simply being up, about and moving burns calories and helps fend off diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease or cancer.
And if you can walk or cycle to school, or anywhere else you need to go, then do that instead of using the car – it’s better for the environment, for you and the kids.
If it’s too far to walk the whole way, try getting the bus but get off one or two stops earlier and walk the last bit. It’s about making small changes to your life to help your kids be more active and stay healthy.
Up and About Activity Ideas
There are plenty of ways your kids can get moving. Just pick a game a day until they’ve forgotten all about the TV!
- Make a den using some chairs, tables, sheets and towels. Why not have a tea-party in there?
- Get skipping – skipping can be great exercise.
- Hide and seek – it’s free and fun.
- Have a snail race – balance a cushion on your back and crawl as fast as you can without the cushion falling off. Make sure you have a finish line or it could get very tiring!
- How about a game of Musical Statues or Musical Chairs?
- Play hopscotch outside.
- How long can they keep a hula-hoop going for?
- On grass, see how many times you can leap frog over each other.
- Star jumps – see who can do the most in a minute, whoever wins get to chose what you play next.
Put on a show!
- Have a disco in the lounge with some of your CDs or make up a dance routine to a song.
- Perform your own pop video. Choose a song you want to perform, then devise a routine for it. Practice until you’re ready to perform to friends or family.
- Have a game of charades. Mime films, TV Programmes or books to friends. If they guess what you are miming then it’s their turn to try.
- Have a catwalk at home and get the kids to parade their favourite clothes for you. Make sure they tidy them away as well though!
- Put on a play – act out a made up story, or use one from a book. Why not invite grandparents round to watch too?
- Come up with a cheerleading routine. They can spell out words with their arms or legs or even do it to music.
Whatever the weather – ideas for wind, rain and snow
Winter evenings can be long and it’s easy to hibernate until spring. So what better way to cheer everyone up than by introducing some new games, activities and adventures!
And don’t worry about the weather – adults may not like wind, rain and snow, but kids usually love it! As long as they have the right clothes on – waterproofs in the rain and layers with hats and gloves in the cold.
- Run against the wind
- Play puddle jumping – just remember wellies!
- Have a snowball fight.
- Make a snowman or giant snowball.
- Go sledging.
- If its autumn, catch the leaves – first one to 10 wins.
Body fact factory
Why do it? We know that if we carry on as we are, 9 out of 10 of our kids risk growing up to have health problems related to having too much fat in their bodies, including type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
So here’s our basic body guide which shows how exercise helps the different parts of our bodies.
A good dose of fresh air and exercise also helps us all sleep better. So tiring out kids with activity every day will help them nod off at a good hour and make them feel alert for the next day.
Doing exercise gets the blood and oxygen flowing to our brains so it helps us think more clearly and stay alert. It can make us feel happier and more confident too.
Moving around fast makes our breathing deeper and quicker which gets nice, new air into our bodies and helps us clean out the old, stale air from our lungs. It also gets our lungs working properly and gives them their own workout. Deep breathing helps us take more oxygen into our bodies which helps us grow and gives us energy.
Your heart is a muscle, and like all other muscles, it needs exercise and activity to stay healthy and strong. As you move faster, your heart rate speeds up which makes it stronger and helps it pump blood round your body.
As our lungs take in more oxygen, it gets passed into our blood and carried around our bodies. Exercise helps get the blood flowing more quickly to where we need the oxygen most.
Activity helps build up our muscles – the more work they do, the bigger and stronger they get.