How to keep up with your children’s energy!
Most parents know how hard it is to tire young children out. They often seem to be battery-powered long after our own energy sources have run out! The idea of a gentle, winding-down bedtime often goes out the window as children are still zooming around full of beans.
And now there is research to back up these family experiences. Researchers at the Université Clermont Auvergne in France have found that children have greater energy levels than professional endurance athletes. In tests comparing children to triathletes or long-distance runners children were found to have fatigue resistant muscles and to recover more quickly from aerobic exercise.
Further research is needed, but scientists are also interested in whether the decrease in physical activity as we reach adulthood causes the onset of some diseases, such as diabetes, which often appear at this time.
For now, this is more evidence of the benefits of being outside! The NHS advises that children have at least an hour’s physical activity per day. It is far simpler to build more running around and muscle-strengthening activities into your day when you’re outside – and it means the house stays in one piece too, safe from tiny tornadoes around the living room!
You don’t have to fit your 60 minutes (or more) into one session. Here are some bite-size ways you can build more physical activity into your day.
Leave the car at home
One of the simplest ways to ensure you get more walking into your day is to change the way you travel. Ditch the car in favour of public transport, or park 15 minutes away from your destination and walk the last section. If it’s too stressful to do this all the time, earmark a day a week when you can walk at least part of your nursery, school or work commute.
Running around playing chase, tag or other games is free. And most children love it when adults get involved. Find an open area and let the games begin! If your own endurance is low, use a timer so everyone knows you’ll be involved for the first five minutes then they can carry on!
Explore local parks
Often we make use of our nearest parks, but set an aim this year to try some different local ones. Often they will have different play equipment, facilities and gardens to explore, so your child won’t get bored.
Make use of the garden
If you don’t have much time to make an outdoors trip, and you’re lucky enough to have a garden or yard, get the children out there! Set them challenges – see if they can master the art of skipping, or if a little younger, if they can jump on the spot 50 times without stopping. Or give them a patch of garden to call their own and let them test their muscles digging, weeding and exploring.
However you do it, finding reasons to get outside for bite-size chunks regularly will help children burn off energy and will help you increase your own endurance. Add in the emotional and mental benefits of being in nature and you have a winning combination!
Just make sure your children are fit for all weathers with our range of top quality waterproofs and base layers, the first line of defence when it turns chilly.