This one is really close to my heart. I grew up active from the word go. We were like Russian athletes as kids. My Mum was a massive believer in us doing every activity on offer. I think it must have been cheaper then or maybe she spent a fortune. We always had clubs:
- Dancing (ballet, modern, tap)
- Horse riding
- Competitive swimming
- Club swimming
- Lifeguards (Yeah my Mum was all about the swimming)
- Rambling (that’s a thing, it’s like hiking with not enough snacks)
- Girl Guides, church shamoz (jumble sales were totes my favourite) and various other activities like windsurfing, bike riding on those vertical tracks ( I was crap at that), and anything that was kind of survival like, with the risk of death.
So most of the time we were busy. Being thrown into the English Channel on a freezing English summer day to swim to the pier and back was normal. I don’t think they had child protection in those days. If you got in trouble you just stuck your hand up and hoped the boat would notice. It was a bit brutal but I loved it. I’ve got a personality thing like that.
You know, it never felt like exercise. Like ever. It just felt like something we did. I swam from being a baby, it was normal to go to the baths a few times a week. The baths that we had initially in my home town were very old-fashioned, a 50 meter olympic sized pool. I think they have made it into a skate park now. After it shut down we moved to a new modern sports centre. My Mum was not pleased about this and grieved for the old pool, for quite some time. She was also fairly shitted that the new place had a cafe with extortionate prices, and she could no longer get a cup of bovril for 10 pence. Tragic. I think I missed the old pool too but was pleased about the cafe because there were hot chips. I can count on one hand how many times I had them though. Mum would pull out a mothers pride bag with some sort of bun in it and make the face that said, “You’re not having chips”. So I joined in the grieving for the old pool, because I was only interested in the hot chips.
The building, originally constructed in 1879, was extensively altered and remodelled in the 1930′s, to provide a spa facility comprising two swimming pools, seaweed baths, salt water baths, saunas, Turkish Baths, treatment rooms and relaxation areas. The whole complex was constructed beneath the promenade as part of an extensive run of seafront structures and facilities and apart from the entrance building, the facilities are subterranean and are early examples of reinforced concrete structures.
How nice would it be to have those baths now??!
So back to kids and exercise. Why is it worth encouraging it? There are many reasons for it…
- It keeps them out of the house and busy, so they are less likely to engage in some riskier behaviours – so the literature says. I’m not sure I totally agree with the riskier behaviour bit, but it is good for them.
- It instills some good habits early. Kids tend to drop off on exercise once they leave school. They go to Uni, start driving, move out of home, have assignments due and exercise goes by the wayside. Unless they are the sort of kid who gets on a team at uni or out in the community. If you’ve been active in your teenage years it is always easier to get back into it, even if you’ve had a break.
If you just read that you will see that it’s down to us too. If you embrace some fitness in your lifestyle your kids will follow suit. I know this because I’ve done my own study 🙂 Consistency is key, teaching your kids about resilience and consistency is one of the best things you can ever do for them. Life is busy with kids, everyone is bloody exhausted but just starting with 100 steps after dinner can make a massive difference. It gives the kids time to run and mess around, it’s also very exciting to go out in the dark! I’ve written about 100 steps after dinner before. I can’t take credit for it because it was the docs idea in the first place, but once when we did it we saw an owl!!!! An actual owl!!! So it’s like really worth it!
One thing I’ve never really had in my life much, or watched much is a television. I’m quite astounded at the amount of time people spend watching programmes. Throw it out and go and do something instead! I think when we are tired it’s easy to sit down and watch the box without much engagement. The result is that we feel more tired. Exercise gives you ‘more’ energy. It’s true, I’ve done a study on that too!
Let me know if you do the 100 steps after dinner!
PS… 4.30 pm Teen classes now at High Performance Fitness at Ennogera in Brisbane if you want to get the kids in the shed. 14 years and up. Click the link to send an enquiry.