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Activity For Older Children

Keeping 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 and routines.

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.

  • A lot of family time is spent in our homes. It can be the place where we are most inactive and habits of sitting in front of the TV, games console or mobile phone can set in. 

    You can find ways to get the family moving even on rainy days. Try tapping into older children and teenagers competitive streak. You could have competitions to see who carries out the most bursts of activity each week. It might help stop the moans of  ‘I’m bored’. You could try;

    • Getting a couple of skipping ropes or buy a hula hoop.
    • Get an exercise DVD (charity shops / car boots often have them).
    • Find some exercises online you can do at home. This beginners workout from NHS Uk needs no special equipment.
    • Set up 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 dancing (or not!!).

       

  • Walking is a great way to get active and become healthier for free. For fitness walk at a pace where you can still talk, but you’d be too out of breath to sing. It can be difficult to get young people enthusiastic about a walk so you might have to get creative. You could;

    • Try a scavenger hunt. Aim to find 5 or 10 different items like a feather, grass, tree, flower, brown leaf, tree bark, a brown stone and 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, or to a 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 could have a family score board of who takes the most steps over a week.
    • Join up with friends and family. Being active in as a group can be much more fun for children and young people, and you can catch up with friends and family too.
  • Takes going for a walk to a new level and include tech too!!

    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. *Click Here* to find out more.

  • Park Runs take place all over the country including Norfolk. They are organised runs held at weekends for all abilities – absolute beginners are welcome. They are free and the junior runs happen alongside the adult one so you can get involved too. *Click Here* to find out more.

  • 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 trip.

    It costs a maximum of £50 but for low income families it is free. *Click Here.* to find out more about this opportunity.

  • Don’t forget after school activity clubs and sports activities might be available for your child too. *Click Here* to have a look at Norfolk School Sports Partnership to find out what is happening near you. There may be other groups, such as, Scouts or 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 below.

            

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