Getting active with the family March 11 2019
How do you keep active with our boys? Is that a trick question? I am constantly trying to get some quiet time actually, but the demands of four active young boys means that I very rarely sit down when they’re around! Whether it is nature or nurture our kids all love to move. Whether it is ‘formal’ sport and activities they’re involved in, or just jumping around the house. They love bike riding, scooters and skateboards, anything with wheels really. We are lucky to have always had a Springfree trampoline and for many years, a pool so they can keep busy at home, no matter the weather. Most of the time, if it is not raining, they’re outside. Don’t get me wrong, they love the TV and a good movie and we recently succumbed to iPads for Jack and Harry also, so they do sit still and at times, it can be hard to get them off the couch.
What I have noticed, especially lately, is that they love to get active with us. The older and more competitive they get, they love a quick race to see if they’re able to beat us yet. Gone are the days of letting them win, we have to try our hardest with the older boys now. Charlie is thirteen soon and has started high school so I am consciously trying to keep up the activities with him that he enjoys. Something that we can do together. For as long as he invites me to come, I will be there. We both enjoy tennis, so that is a great way to have a healthy battle but also a chat if he’s up for it.
I was recently reminded during a speech by Maggie Dent (one of my favourite author's and parenting specialist) that boys are best communicating when you’re side by side. So they are more likely to open up when you’re not literally ‘in their face’ (as opposed to women who like to form a cosy little huddle). Activities like bike riding, walking the dog and even tennis are great for this (so is driving in the car, with the added benefit of a confined space!) You’ll notice this works for husbands too…
Finding and maintaining activities that enable you to spend quality time together, as well as opening up the communication lines are very important. If you don’t have many of these, I would highly recommend finding them. Some of my best memories with my Dad are going swimming. Besides the endless hours he’d drive me to training, we also used to swim laps at the local pool together. Strange really as we barely spoke once we were at the pool (underwater) but having the shared interest, spending time next to each other and the bond that developed was priceless. He showed me by example how he kept up an active life as an adult and that he valued the time it took to exercise with me.
Premier’s Active April is the ideal time to find some new activities (or dust off the old ones) that your whole family can enjoy together. Even if you just commit to regularly walking around the block together (after dinner maybe) or researching and finding great walking trails just outside of the city, you don’t have to be too fit to start. If you do want to step up your fitness a notch, you could find a fun run coming up in the not too distant future (Mothers Day) and train to complete it together. The time spent training together is invaluable and you get the added bonus of accomplishing something as a family as well.
Active April is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to promote healthy and active lifestyles and get Victorians to join in the fun of increased physical activity. Check out www.activeapril.vic.gov.au to register before April and you can log your daily activity in their tracker via your smartphone, iPad or computer :)
Their website also has a great feature called ‘My Local' where you type in where you live and you can search for what’s on in your neighbourhood, near work, or close to school. You can even plan activities in advance for your next weekend away. Or add your own community event to help others get active this April. The more events and idea’s for all sorts of people, the better.
As during the week, children spend the majority of each day at school, so there is even a section for teachers and schools. There are resources designed to assist teachers and parents to encourage an active lifestyle. There’s even a section for work places that makes it easier to link your existing workplace health and wellbeing initiatives, ways to promote active and sustainable forms of transport to and from your workplace, and PRIZES to keep your team motivated.
The aim is for 30 minutes of physical activity every day and they have ‘Get Active Workout’ videos in the mobile app as well as an Activity Timer to make tracking your activity easy.
It is free to sign up and every person who registers to take part in Premier’s Active April 2019 will have the chance to win some amazing prizes. These include tickets to the 2020 Australian Open Tennis Finals, four Fitbits for the family and an iPad mini, or the third major prize which is GoPro Session Waterproof Action Cam! Plus there are many offers for EVERYONE who registers, these include access to:
- 10 free passes at your local participating YMCA or local government recreation facility
- 30% discount at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne
- a 2 for 1 ticket offer to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
- 10% discount at Sovereign Hill
- 15% off at Sportsmart in-store and online
- free experiences at participating Parks Victoria parks
- 15% discount for a Coasting: Stand Up Paddle boarding session
- 15% off Rock Up Netball Train and Youth Programs
- 20% discount for Netball Victoria community clinics
- a 2 for 1 green fee offer at participating Golf Australia courses
- 10% discount on term 2 My Golf Australia Junior Programs
- five free group dance lessons at a participating DanceSport Victoria centre
- one free Cardio Tennis trial at participating Tennis Victoria courts
- one hour free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park or Albert Reserve
- entry into the draw to win tickets to 2020 Australian Open Tennis Finals*
- weekly email tips on healthy eating and being active
- *See website for full details and terms & conditions.
So besides getting your own heart pumping, I think Active April is a great time to create some good exercise habits that hopefully last you all through winter. Finding something that you enjoy is the key to maintaining the activity and if you can do that with at least one other family member, it’s a bonus.