On 2 January, 2016
Helping children stay active can be one of hardest challenges facing any parent, especially when kids face distractions such as game consoles, smartphones and laptops. These activities do have the potential to impact on their physical and emotional development.
Of course, spending a little time enjoying these devices and platforms can be very beneficial. However, finding the right balance between these and encouraging children to take part in physical exercise is key - plus it doesn’t have to cost the earth!
Read on for fitness activity ideas for children to try...
Martial Arts Class
Structured environments can be very beneficial for your child, though. Similarly, it’s important to encourage a variety of different activities to help children stay motivated.
Martial Arts classes for children can help them develop a host of skills in a fun and rewarding environment. Whether it’s individually or in a group, it’s another way for them to exercise and learn skills like leadership, listening and focus.
Find a free martial arts class near you
Home Fitness Workout
If your children spend hours on their tablets, laptops, and smartphones, then why not use these to encourage active play? Not only does it promote physical exercise, but it’s a convenient way for the whole family to take some exercise.
You can find a whole host of child-friendly exercise routines on YouTube, which you can use to give your child some gentle encouragement to join. You could use this as part of your own fitness routine and let your child join in when they want to. Even if it’s only once in a blue moon, it can only have a positive influence.
Kids love to explore, and they love the excitement of surprise. Organising a simple treasure hunt is the ideal way to celebrate both ideas and it’s another chance to exercise! Meanwhile, it also encourages the idea that hard work results in rewards.
The prizes don’t have to be expensive, and setting the game up shouldn’t cost you anything. As long as everyone has fun, that’s all that matters.
One of the most important factors of encouraging increased physical activity is to make exercise fun. Team sports are a fantastic way to achieve this, and can also help children develop key skills in a rewarding environment.
Signing your child up to a weekend team won’t cost a lot, while a school team should be free. Alternatively, you can get together with other parents and take your kids over to the local park to play as a group. Either way, it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to encourage activity. This could even help children grow in confidence, establish greater communication skills and friendships in the process.
Most children love cycling! Bicycles are an amazing asset for encouraging a more active lifestyle. In truth, teaching your child to ride a bike is one of the most rewarding moments in any parent’s life. But what do you do after that?
For some children, their bike might remain unused for months. If this is the case then why not add some variety by checking out new routes as a family. Not only will you get fitter together, but you’ll also spend more time together too.
Alongside cycling, swimming is another activity that can be rewarding for both parent and child. Swimming can also build up strength and coordination as well teaching them a valuable life skill. In many locations, it’s possible to find free swimming classes at the local pool.
Not all physical activities are just about exercise. It’s equally important to give children an opportunity to express their personality. A dance party is the perfect solution.
Let your kids invite a few friends around, and grab the CD player or stick iTunes on. If they get too tired, you can mix it up with other activities such as karaoke. Either way, it’s the ideal way for them to enjoy some non-competitive activity.
Go To The Park
Sounds a little obvious, but so many kids miss out on the simple joys of going to the public park. Whether it’s using a climbing frame, swings, or slide it hardly matters. Those activities are brilliant ways for young children to grow physically and mentally. And it’s a brilliant way to encourage activity with other kids too.
We hope these children’s fitness ideas have inspired you. If you’d like your children to try something for free, then why not try a free martial arts classes. To find one near you, just go to our martial arts classes search to find out more.
On 4 January, 2016
If you're trying to get fit, stop smoking or cut down on the chocolate, there’s a good chance that you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to yourself.
If you really want to stick to yours this year, these 11 tips could help you keep them:
Change Your Mindset
The first thing you need to do is change your mindset. If your head is in the wrong place, you can’t expect to keep your resolution. Your mindset needs to be positive. You need to believe that you can do what you’re setting out to do. If you’re fearful, doubtful, or anywhere in that range of emotion, you’re unlikely to succeed. The key is to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Find Ways To Monitor Your Progress
Find ways to monitor how well you’re doing. For example, if you want to quit smoking, put the money you would usually spend on cigarettes in a moneybox. You can then add this up over a certain period of time to see how much you’ve saved. If you want to get fitter, keep track of how well you’re doing on certain exercises. Write down form, weights and reps. This way you can easily track your progress which helps with providing motivation.
Reward Your Efforts
If you feel you’ve accomplished something wonderful, make sure you reward your efforts. The best way to do this is by pampering yourself, or going somewhere nice. Set yourself goals and come up with a reward for yourself once you’ve completed each goal.
Keep A Journal
By keeping a journal, you can note down your feelings about certain things. This could help you to notice the behaviour that trips you up or might make you break your resolution. When you realise you’re doing this, you can take the steps to stop doing it. Writing things down can help them to seem so much clearer.
Have Solid Reasons For Wanting To Change
When you have solid reasons for wanting to change, you’re far more likely to stick to your goals. Instead of losing weight to look different, why not do it for health reasons so you can live a healthier and longer life. There are so many great reasons you can come up with.
Make A Plan
By making a plan, you’ll be able to stick to your resolution much more effectively. Write down what you want to do, your smaller goals, bigger goals, and how you expect to achieve them. Keep this plan somewhere you can see it so that it stays fresh in your mind!
Keep It Realistic
Make sure you keep your new year’s resolution realistic, or you won’t stick to it. Be honest; are your goals realistic enough for you to stick to? You need to start off by taking small steps. Don’t run before you can walk! You can do anything you set your mind to, but you don’t want to dishearten yourself right from the start.
Find A Good Support Network
Having a good support network is a great idea. You’ll be able to speak to them when you’re feeling down or need some advice. They should be able to lift you up and encourage you to carry on! You can find support networks in your family and friends, but online too. Remember, there are all kinds of people going through exactly the same thing as you!
Be Kind To Yourself
There might be setbacks on your journey, but you have to realise that that’s ok. Beating yourself up will only make things worse. Accept what has happened and vow to keep on trying. Don’t let one setback make you give up on your goals!
Keep Yourself Accountable
There are a number of ways you can keep yourself accountable. You could check in with a friend, or find somebody who wants to do the same thing as you.
Results come in time. Be patient and enjoy the journey. You can be so proud of yourself when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do!
Sticking to your new year’s resolution is all about your mindset at first. Then use the other techniques outlined in this guide to smash your new year’s resolution. Good luck – you know you can do it!
On 15 January, 2016
The end of the year usually prompts us all to make brand new resolutions in order to better ourselves. People say they’re going to improve their lives in a number of ways. They say they’ll lose weight, quit smoking, quit junk food...and become better, healthier people in general! There’s a chance we’ve all been there. However, only a few people usually stick to their new year’s resolution. Many people fail within the first few weeks. Are you one of them? Ask yourself, how’s your new year’s resolution going, really? If you want to make better resolutions and measure your resolution success better, there are a few ways you can do it. Here are some ideas: Write A Diary By writing a diary, you’ll be able to monitor your behaviour and feelings. A lot of the time, the way we feel can directly affect the way we act. For instance, somebody might make the resolution to give up junk food. Then once they feel a little sad, they turn to chocolate for comfort. With a diary, you will be able to notice a pattern in your behaviour and change that to give you the best chance of success. You can also make the effort to keep yourself out of situations that will make you turn back to your bad habits. What Do You Want To Achieve? Rather than wording your resolution like this, ‘I need to stop eating so much cake’, word it like this, ‘I will achieve a healthier body’. When you word your resolution positively, rather than negatively you give yourself a much higher chance of success. Don’t think of the things you shouldn’t be doing, and instead focus on the things you want to achieve. Speak of them as if you’ve already done them too! Tell People What You Plan On Doing By telling people what you plan on achieving, you keep yourself far more accountable. They’re going to ask questions and help to keep you motivated. These people might even become a bit of a support network for you. Don’t keep your resolution to yourself. Talk about it with the people who really matter and you’ll feel much better. Take The Time To Think Of A Good One Lots of people make the mistake of coming up with their resolution on the day. This makes it all a little too rushed, and you’ll choose one based on how you feel at that moment. Instead, take the time to think of a good one. Start thinking of one as far in advance as you can to come up with something realistic and achievable. Try not to use one that you’ve used in the past. This should be a fresh resolution! Use Visualisation People don’t realise just how powerful visualisation can be when it comes to meeting your goals. Try sitting down and actually imagining yourself achieving what you want to achieve regularly. Make sure you’re feeling good about it too. You’re so much more likely to get to where you want to be this way. Try this for 5 or 10 minutes every day and you should notice a big difference in your success and resolve. You need to not only picture what it’ll look like, but what it’ll feel like when you’ve achieved it. Try to feel the feelings that come along with it. What will you see, smell, touch, hear? Put in as much detail as you can. Your brain will work its hardest to make this a reality! Be More Specific Be as specific as you can about your goals. Instead of saying you want to lose weight, say how much you want to lose and give yourself a time frame. By making your goals specific, you make them more measurable, and urgent. If you want to get fitter, say you want to be able to run a half marathon and give yourself a deadline. The more specific you are, the better. If your new year’s resolution isn’t going as well as you’d like, start using some of the tips here to help you get back on track. You need to be kind to yourself; new habits don’t just form overnight. Expect some setbacks; that’s life! Just know how to deal with them. Dwelling on them will only make you feel worse, and cause you to slip up more. In short: stay positive, be specific, and measure your success. You’re the only person who can help you to achieve your dreams. If the mind can perceive it, and you believe it, you can achieve it!
On 26 January, 2016
January is typically the time of year when people start to look at ways they can improve their fitness levels or increase the amount of exercise they have.
If you’ve taken the decision to improve your fitness this year, then check out these 12 different ways to get fit – see which one you like best!
Walking or Hiking
Walking is a really simple way to get fitter and is good for people who might be looking to start exercising again, if they’re not been able to do it for a while.
Walking can potentially burn as many calories as running, depending on speed and how often you do it of course. It’s low impact too, so shouldn’t hurt your joints or put pressure on them as much as running could. Monitor your progress with a pedometer to count your steps each day. After a while and when your confidence has increase, you could consider hiking outdoors, but if you do make sure you prepare properly and have the right equipment.
Swimming is not only a wonderful life skill to have, it also has the potential to give you an all over body workout. It not only burns calories but can help strengthen the core, legs, and other areas of the body. There are different techniques you can practice until you’re a swimming pro. It’s great for people of all ages as it’s so low impact.
Do you like to get a good sweat on? Maybe you love that ‘high’ feeling you can get after running. If you’ve never had ‘runner’s high’", you should try it! You’ll be on cloud 9 after a good run, and it’ll make you want to do it again and again. It’s always best to start with shorter distances at first, as it can be hard on your joints and shins if you haven’t ran for a while. Make sure your technique is comfortable and your clothing is suitable.
Biking is not only a good alternative way to get around town but it’s also good for fitness and an all body workout. You can even use it for biking around the countryside. Make sure to use the right type of bike for the terrain you’re riding on. You should also invest in safety gear such as helmets and high visibility wear to ensure you’re as protected as possible!
Bodybuilding is a sport loved by both men and women, as it allows them to develop their bodies in a way they like best. You work on the muscles you want to get bigger or more defined. You could even enter competitions. Lifting weights not only builds muscle, it helps to burn fat and calories too. Usually, it continues to burn fat long after you’ve finished training!
While most people may think of doing Martial Arts to learn self defence skills, it also offers extra benefits such as improved fitness, focus, self-control and confidence boosting. Martial Arts is also a lot of fun as you learn cool new moves! Find a class near you and try it for free.
Yoga is such a relaxing and spiritual way to get fit". Yoga can help with strengthening muscles and learning balance, but it has the potential to be good for your mind, as people can enjoy yoga as a form of meditation. The great news is, you don’t even need a gym or anything to start. You can download apps to help you teach yourself. You can start out with simple poses, and sooner or later you might be able to do a one handed handstand!
Check out your local gym; there are bound to be so many fitness classes you can get involved in. Things like bodypump and spin classes are great for working up a sweat and burning some calories. Classes can vary from gym to gym, so check out your local area to see what you can find.
If you’d rather not go to a gym, how about popping in an exercise DVD and following along? Just make sure you stick to doing it a few times per week to see results! As you get more confident you might even decide you’re ready to head to a gym or class after a few weeks.
When it comes to what type of dancing you prefer, that’s up to you. You could take a partner ballroom dancing, or even learn how to breakdance! There are lots of different dance classes available from Zumba to Samba, the choice is yours.
Rock climbing is so much fun, and is sometimes considered as an adrenaline based sport. You can do it indoors to start with, but sooner or later you might want to take it outside to really challenge yourself.
A Boot Camp
If you feel like you need some instant motivation, a boot camp could get you in the right frame of mind. Bootcamps are typically based around military style fitness exercises but can incorporate lots of different styles of exercise such as dance or martial arts.
Which of these 12 ways to get fit do you like best? Will you try any after reading this? Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. That’s the only way you’ll stick to it!
Find a Martial Arts Class In Your Area & Try For FREE
Get Into Martial Arts lists thousands of FREE trial Martial Arts classes run by Martial Arts clubs across the UK. Please speak to your instructor after your free trial lesson for details on pricing. The typical average price ranges between £35 - £55 a month depending on your region or school.