Fingers crossed your school has signed up to undertake the daily mile? A chance for your child to run, skip or walk a mile a day to help tackle children’s exercise and weight control. This is fun and gets them interested and excited by movement.
It’s a proven fact that the more a child moves the more switched on their brain is. Drinking plenty of water and having a cooked meal in the middle of the day also helps to keep your child’s brain buzzing and their mind active.
If your school hasn’t signed up yet you can find out more here, where you can register your school to join in and track their progress.
It’s a great initiative and one which has been supported by sports stars, Olympians and health professionals. But if your school isn’t involved we’ve put together some top tips on how to boost your child’s brain power and get active.
1: Carry water wherever you go
Dehydration is the biggest cause of lethargy other than lack of sleep. By making sure your child always has access to water, it’s easier to ensure they’re drinking and staying hydrated. It can also mean that they eat less as they learn that they’re actually thirsty rather than hungry.
2: Play games that involve moving
Exercise doesn’t have to be sport, it just means moving and there’s no easier way to do this than by playing games. Go old-school and play hide and seek or tag, get in the garden and play with your kids or race back to the house from the car if you have to drive the school run.
Any time you can move and get your heart rate up counts, even running up the stairs. Being sneaky can help here; deliberately leave the piles of laundry downstairs for your children to put away resulting in several trips up and down the stairs to complete their chore.
Just half an hour bouncing on a trampoline can burn over 100 calories and bouncing does not feel like exercise. Trampolines can be a great investment and a great way of getting the kids moving. If you don’t have room at home, trampoline parks are popping up around the country. Most gymnastics clubs will also have a trampolining option.
4: Lead by example
You are your child’s biggest influence. If they see you taking part in sport, walking, enjoying the outdoors, they’ll be more inclined to feel that it’s normal and this is just how you live your life.
Encourage them to come along, take up sports which you can do as a family from tennis to golf to swimming. Slot it in so it feels normal and not like you’re off to exercise now, more that oh it’s a Monday that’s when we go swimming (it will also help you to stay fit and healthy enough to keep up with your kids and stress less about the occasional indulgent treat).
5: Make it fun!
Things that are fun get done!