I don’t really set new years resolutions, I have explained why in previous posts. I am a very stubborn person by nature if told not to do something then I want to, even more, this is one of the reasons diets never are my strong point and I give up on them quickly.
I am not a gym person, it’s not that I don’t like exercise but being stuck in a room doing it is too boring for me. I used to have a personal trainer who would come to my house once a week, it was the motivation I needed at the time and better than classes as we went at a pace I was able to stick to. Now I have children this isn’t something I have kept up due to costs, time and lack of energy amongst other things.
This year I will be 40 and so will Paul, and far from being scared of that number I am excited to embrace it head on but I want to do so in style. This is why we already have 5 holidays booked up this year, we are making a full year of celebrations. Of course, when I do hit the beaches come summer I want to don those bikinis I’ve not worn in well over 10 years, certainly not since having kids and for that to happen I want to shift a little more weight.
I made myself a target at the beginning of the year to move more, and this is a family challenge too – myself and the kids have Fitbits and try to hit our 10,000 steps challenge at least 5 times a week. I am also trying to ensure I do this on weekends too, which is sometimes a little harder as we do like our PJ days when we are overtired and had busy weeks.
I teamed up with the Queensgate Centre in Harlow recently to discover fun ways we could get moving more as a family.
The Queensgate Centre is Harlow’s number one shopping park, with 225,000 sq. ft of space featuring a strong retail, lifestyle and leisure mix of 19 household names. Brands include Next Home, Currys PC World, Decathlon, HomeSense and Cineworld, complemented by favourite dining spots such as Pizza Hut, Chiquito, Subway and Costa. Its 842-space car park offers five hours free parking, perfect for family days out.
It is somewhere we visit as a family often, we will pop out in the morning to hit the shops then grab a bite to eat or even visit the cinema for a special treat.
The focus for this weeks trip for fitness and of course moving more so I spent quite some time at Decathlon and also Sports Direct for this visit.
Exercise can be boring if you are doing it alone, however, with the idea of moving more as a family it doesn’t have to be boring.
Here are some of the fun ways we will be incorporating the ‘keep moving’ challenge in our household:
- Bike riding
This is a great exercise for the whole family. We all have bikes and with Harry finally mastering no stabilisers it makes things a whole lot easier. We have fields by our house which we can ride on or we can head into town when Harry is a little more confident (or I am that he won’t wobble into the road or parked cars), we are also very lucky that the local football club have a great flat car park which is just by our house, on none match days when the gates are closed we head to the car park to ride safely knowing that no cars will come around the corner. The kids love riding in the car park, it is flat, safe and they can go over the speed bumps and slalom around the posts as much as they want to.
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**Blowing away the cobwebs** This weekend, none of us have been in the best of moods. We’ve all felt lathargic after what has been an over busy start to the year. Each weekend filled with activities and events from the minute we got up until we went to bed. So we did nothing and it was so nice. There was a PJ day on Saturday and a relaxed almost nothing day today. We did pop on some warm clothes though to grab some fresh air riding our bikes. A quiet weekend was so needed…. The next few weekends are once again jammed packed and we won’t get time to stop. Roll on half term for a holiday
Both the children love to rollerskate and are both rather good at it now. It’s not something I have embraced just yet but we have discovered a Roller Disco on every Saturday night locally so I think I will need to get in some practice as I think I will need to join them for it. They could be the ones holding my hands and holding me up though. Considering I will need to practice to keep up with the children, it may be wise I invested in my own skates so as not to embarrass myself (or them).
- Horse Riding
This is something Emmy is desperate to do – and as a birthday surprise for her (she is 9 next week), I have arranged an hours lesson for both her and Harry. This is something I used to do as a teen, riding my friend’s horse in exchange for helping her muck out etc, I absolutely loved it and I know Emmy will too
This is Harry’s sport of choice. He adores visiting the driving range weekly to practice his swing and is getting so much better at it. We are currently looking into booking him up some lessons and he already has his own golf clubs.
Emmy joins in too and also has her own clubs. It helps to develop their hand-eye coordination, balance and of course, gets them outdoors into the fresh air.
Even crazy golf as a family is great fun and gets us all out into the fresh air and keeps us moving.
OK, you don’t move just as much as other sports but casting out does take practice and it helps the children develop patience at the same time.
Emmy has adored this for years, going whenever she can with both Grandads. She even has all her own fishing kit from rods to her own tackle box and seat.
Who says this has to just be for the kids?
While visiting Decathlon, I kicked off my boots, tried on some trainers and jumped onto one of their adult’s scooters. I didn’t want to get off it was so much fun – so much so that I purchased one while there and now I scoot around with the kids and plan to use mine on the school run with them when it’s no longer icy.
- All weather walks
This is something we do as a family already, we’ve always said there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
Sometimes there is nothing more fun than pulling on your wellies, zipping up your raincoat and grabbing an umbrella to head out and puddle jump while singing in the rain.
- Kicking a ball around
Neither of my children really like football but they do love chasing the ball around the football fields and trying to score goals. They aren’t very good but it is great fun and gets us all moving and gives us a good laugh when we fall down, save a goal or even launch ourselves in the wrong direction.
- Going head to head
One activity the kid’s love is being competitive with each other, giving them a pedometer each or even a Fitbit is one way to keep up their competitive natures (and to wear them out of course), if Emmy has outstepped Harry he will run up and down the stairs in a bid to catch up, and vice vera.
Of course, there are loads more ways to keep moving as a family but those are our family favourites.
You can find more traditional exercise equipment in the sports stores too from gym clothes, running gear, weights and even equipment to start your own home gym.
Disclaimer: I have been compensated for my time writing this post, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.