Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Honey, I blew up the kids
A lot has been written in the last few years about the way the way there are more obese children than there previously have been. Everyone has been bombarded with reasons and fingers have been cast at who is to blame. The hard fact is that, if you are overweight, your children are more likely to be overweight and if your kids become overweight, they are more likely to remain overweight throughout adulthood. The key is to do the right things early on in their lives. I’m sorry for the clichés and bad sayings but, a leopard never changes its spots and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. If you have brought your children up in a certain way that has seen them put on weight then it will be very difficult to then try to convince them to change.
So, how old are we talking and what sort of things should you be doing?
Well, first of all I’m not saying anything radical or extreme like all 1 year olds should do sit-ups or new-borns should on a salad diet. There are certain things that you can do though.
Ditch the buggy
Once your child is 2 or 3 and are confident walkers, encourage them to walk as much as possible. Start to use any sort of push chair sparingly when you’re out and about. Walking is a fantastic, gentle exercise for your spawn of your loins, as well as yourself.
You can’t beat sleep
Sleep is vital for kids’ growth and development. A lack of sleep can also lead to eating more during the day. Try to get them into a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Having a warm bath 90 minutes before bed can help soothe them into a peaceful night’s sleep without the need of counting sheep. Avoid them having anything sugary a couple of hours before bed as this can make kids hyper and less likely to settle into the land of nod.
Don’t use food as a reward
If you start to use food as a reward (all you “if you be good, we can go to McDonalds” parents, you know who you are) your kids will start to see these sorts of foods as treats and use them as their go-to food when they want something they enjoy. Next time they start to feel down, they’ll hit the junk food you gave them as a treat to try and cheer themselves up. Why not use a family day out as a treat or create a rewards and penalties chart and make them work up towards those football boots or bike that they want so much.
Let them watch Scooby Do and Lazy Town, not Charlie and Lola, apparently
So, turn off the tele (even if it is Scooby Do), ditch your buggy , help them get a full nights kip and stop using food as a reward and your kids will be on the right path to a healthy lifestyle.
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Little Bit Extra
So, I’m sure wondering how I’ve been getting on has cost you some sleepless nights lately. Well, worry over, I’m about to tell you. After finally getting my girlfriend to come running with me, the next day she followed me on the bike as I did an interval run. All she was missing was a mega-phone and a spatula. I had the last laugh though as the ancient bike has the most uncomfortable seat in the history of bike seats and so she was struggling to walk afterwards due to a sore derriere.
Not sure if she is planning to do a triathlon or something but the next morning we hit the swimming baths. I’m not sure at what point you become serious at swimming training and switch to the Speedo. Whatever that point is, I’m not there, I’ll stick to the shorts. Swimming went well though and it was good to get a bit of cross training.
Saturday I had a football match (we lost) and Sunday was a rest day. Monday I went for a tempo run and led me to a question. What is the etiquette for a runner when going past another runner? Casual nod? A smile? High five? I went past a few people on this run. As I saw them coming I thought I’d go with a smile and “alright?”. I thought that would be the most polite thing. As they past I flashed the smile and was about to open my mouth to speak, when I realised I was being blanked. Is that bad runner etiquette? Surely it is.
Anyway Tamworth 10k is the next race I’m entered in. Less than 3 weeks to go. By the weekend I’ll have a good idea for a target time.
Thanks for getting down to here.