Bums and bellies and bouncing spirits

dogs are useful...!

dogs are useful…!

You are SO lucky if you have little kids at home with you all day!

Wish I did. Not only because they’re cute and funny and opportunities for masses of cuddles. But also because they help keep you slim and fit.

Now mine have graduated and I’m at the computer most of the day I’m getting a graduated bum. It’s graduating outwards, downwards and even forwards – or is that my belly?

When home educating I hardly ever sat on it. Now my work is such that I don’t have that same footfall, no toddlers to chase, no field trips to go on, no running about, no swims and no ice-skating to wobble over. What fun it all was, demonstrating gallantly to my kids how all this activity could be enjoyed, hoping they didn’t spot the occasional gritted teeth. (Read ‘A Funny Kind Of Education’ and you’ll see what I mean).

I know you might not want to hear this but it really is a requisite of good parenting that you demonstrate to your kids the blessings of regular, habitual exercise in some form or another.

I hate the word ‘exercise’. It conjures up horrible images of rank-smelling gyms with torturous instruments, figure-shaming Lycra and something you have to add-on to your life like an App or something, mainly because it’s not part of your life.

That’s the secret; to get it as part of your life so it isn’t seen as exercise at all. Just part of what you do.

Running about with small kids, having them keep you busy on your feet is part of what you do as a parent. And perhaps part of your life as a parent is to create a lifestyle that incorporates activity (rather than exercise) which keeps your children healthy.

Everyone – you included – needs physical activity to keep them healthy; brain, body and spirits. Exercise stimulates the brain and helps with mental development. If it’s outside it promotes general wellbeing and tops up vital Vitamin D now known to be essential not just for bones but for our immune systems, it enhances mood too, increases confidence and lifts our spirits.

This physical activity could be something as simple as a daily walk (dogs are useful), using your feet instead of transport whenever you can (make time!), enjoying parks or outdoor places, going for regular visits to the swimming pool, dance or sport classes, whatever suits you.

If you establish this as part of what you do, then it becomes part of an established pattern for living a life that you’re educating your kids for. It is part of education – despite schools doing their best to ignore that fact!

So to avoid my arse graduating any further as I dash on towards another book I’m going to dash out for a brisk and bum toning walk!

(Lots of good sites round the web for ideas…here’s one to start you off; http://parentsforhealth.org/be-active

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