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Activity 5 - 19

Keeping your older children active can be a challenge

They need  at least 60 minutes of activity a day. This doesn’t have to happen all in one go it can be broken up into chunks to fit in with life.

It is important that three times a week children and young people are taking part in activities that gets their heart beating faster and make them a bit out of breath – this is called aerobic exercise and is vital for a healthy heart and lungs and to build fitness levels.

An hour can feel like a lot if you have not always been an active family – but you can work towards this bit by bit. As you find activities  you all  enjoy it will feel good and become  a fun part of your every day life

  • Coming up with ideas that don’t cost a fortune and keep the family active can be a challenge – we have some ideas here that might help

    You and your children may come up with others –if you do please share them on our parent forum here

  • A lot of family time is spent in our homes – it can be the place where we are most inactive. Habits of sitting in front of the TV / PlayStation or Phone can set in.

    You can find ways to get the family moving even on rainy days –and  it will help stop the moans of  ‘I’m bored’

    Tap into older children and teenagers  competitive streak  - see who carries out the most bursts of activity each week

    • Get a couple of skipping ropes or buy a hula hoop
    • Get an exercise DVD (charity shops / car boots often have them) or find some exercises online. These 10 minute workouts from NHS Livewell need no special equipment
    • Set up some circuit training in the garden, or even in the house – star jumps in the hall or press-ups in front of the TV – take it in turns to plan your exercise programme
    • Family Danceathon -turn on some favourite tunes and get breathless – impress your children with your Dad / Mum dancing (or not!!)
  • Walking is underrated – it’s a great way to get active and become healthier for free.

    For fitness walk at a pace where you still can talk, but you’d be too breathless to sing your favourite song

    It can be difficult to get young people enthusiastic about a walk so you might have to get creative to get them on board

    • Try a scavenger hunt - try to find 5 or 10 different things like a feather, grass, tree, flower, brown leaf, tree bark,, a brown stone, a green leaf, race to be the first one to get everything
    • Make a new family resolution that you walk whenever it is possible – to school, to the shops, to friend’s houses – you could use money saved from bus fares / petrol for a family treat
    • Get competitive - count your steps – many phones now count your steps for you, or a pedometer can be bought quite cheaply – you can have a family score board of who takes the most steps over a week
    • Join up with friends and family – being active in a ‘gang’ can be much more fun for children and young people - and you can catch up with friends and family too

    Go Geocaching

    Takes going for a walk to a new level – and includes tech use too!!

    Treasure hunts? Exploring? Sound like something the family might enjoy?

    Geocaching is an exciting outdoor adventure for the whole family. It’s a treasure hunt for the digital generation, where you can enjoy the freedom of being outside and discovering new places. Find out more here

    Try a Junior Parkrun

    ParkRuns take place all over the country including Norfolk. They are organised runs held at weekends for all abilities – absolute beginners welcome. They are free – the junior runs happen alongside the grown up one so you can get involved too. Find out more here

    Apply for national citizen service

    This is a nationally run programme for 15 – 19 year olds – it involves socialising & physical activity, as well as volunteering. It gives the opportunity to meet with other young people and stay away from home on a residential.

    It costs a maximum of £50 but for low income families it is free. Find out more about this opportunity here

  • Don’t forget after school activity clubs and sports activities are there for your child too - have a look at the Norwich School Sports Partnership here to find out what is happening near you. Remember there may be Scouts and Guides nearby that your child may enjoy too.

Who Can Help?

If you are concerned about your child’s weight or eating habits and feel you need support then you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum. CLICK HERE

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