Getting Fit for Christmas

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Christmas is the perfect time to gear up, join in and get physical.

Finding time for fitness activities these holidays will keep your family in good health - and you'll have fun too!

Family fitness activities for little or no cost

Family fitness does not need to be expensive or inconvenient. There are many great family activities you can do in the backyard, neighbourhood or at your local Community Centre or park. Keep the kids active at home with the good old-fashioned carwash, backyard swing or chalk pavement games. Skipping ropes and juggling balls are inexpensive stocking fillers that will keep young ones active. Kids love ball games of all kinds. Making time to kick the footy or soccer ball at the park or enjoy a round of tennis or shooting hoops at the local recreation centre will ensure you stay active too. Ask your children what kind of activities they like, make a list of some and help them with a plan that will ensure they meet the recommended minimum of thirty minutes each day.

Adequate activity is crucial to your child's physical and mental development so join in and set a good example.

Hula hoop exercise is all the rage, is great fun and an excellent form of aerobic exercise. Dance Hoop Exercise Kits are available and provide a guided routine that is sure to be a hit with mums and kids.

Originally used by physiotherapist's to assist patient recovery, the exercise or gym ball has morphed into a modern fitness beanbag, appearing in lounge rooms everywhere.

When sitting on an exercise ball you use core muscles, essential for good posture, to keep balanced. There are many resources like DVDs and books that show you how to get the most out of them, and accessories like Furriball ball covers that add fun and flair.

Fun family outings

The beach is the perfect place for fun family activity. Remember to pack a Frisbee, snorkel or a cricket, volleyball or badminton set. Beachcombing, sand sculpture and beach cleanups are all great ways to keep young ones active.

Collecting things from nature like feathers, shells or bark for a seasonal display table or to turn into crafty mobiles or pieces of art and jewelry is a fun activity that can continue throughout the year. Christmas wreathes and decorations can be made from cones and seeds you collect on your walks.

Most kids are fascinated by gardening activities, digging, planting, watering and composting. Make small garden beds or fill pots for them to grow herbs, vegetables or flowers. Why not make a homemade scarecrow to add a dramatic touch?

Plan a weekly family fitness outing regardless of the weather. Ride bikes or walk along local trails or just take your dog, or the neighbours' dog, for a walk around the block.

 

Every bit of exercise counts

Finding three ten minute segments each day to take a brief walk, play football, skip rope or dance will go a long way towards helping you meet daily activity goals.

Great for gadget lovers and those who struggle to find time for intentional activity, pedometers record the number of steps you take, encouraging you to meet the recommended 10,000 steps each day. They can assist in goal setting and provide a fun and challenging way to keep the entire family active together.

Remember healthy holiday gifts such as bikes, gym memberships and massage vouchers and try not to overindulge in food and alcohol over the holidays. Why not start your New Year's resolutions now?

Trampolining

Jumping on a trampoline is a great way for kids to have fun while exercising. It strengthens and exercises every muscle, organ, and cell in the body and enhances coordination, flexibility, timing and balance.

Due to the exciting and energetic nature of trampolining, injuries and accidents may occur so safety is important.

Look for trampolines that are safety-enhanced with round designs, enclosed nets and safety pad spring covers. Position your trampoline so that you can ensure adult supervision.

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