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A Play day at the family gym!!!

The family gym!!!
The family gym!!!

Building on the idea of using christmas to get fit and healthy through a parent workout today has been all about play because we had a little day off with our little one. right now I am that happy tired you get after a day with an under 5 and I know I had a proper workout.

The big treat was a visit to the new soft play and it was a ton of fun. It can be something you love or something you hate because you generally get pulled into the fray by your little one, particularly if you only have the one. Other parents with two little ones sometimes get to sit back and let their kids get on with it but safety generally requires parental supervision no matter how many kids you have.

My classroom

The gym floor
The gym floor

The beauty for me is that my P.E and Sport Science degree makes a soft play area my classroom and I love it. I get to teach him about his environment through fun. Today we learnt a little about driving because they had some little trikes you push with your feet. My word that was a workout because I was in a position I don’t usually get in. What… you ask… you got on the trikes and played aswell!!! Yep, at first I was wary because I wasn’t certain they could take my weight. No other parents were doing it but my little one was playing on his own and prefers a playmate, plus the trikes looked big enough for a big one so I joined in.

I am really glad I did because other parents joined in. All the fun meant I worked and stretched muscles and movement chains that normally get neglected to boot . The beauty of this s that our bodies crave variety of movement because they are continually trying to predict and prepare for what might happen

Of course the trikes weren’t the only workout. We like to cross train 🙂 so we combined the trike workout with our usual race through the play zone. We clambered up and over everything to get to the slides, zoomed down them, then rinse and repeat 10 or more times. Atthe soft play at Whipsnade Zoo it was 30 times and I was seriously pooped, imagine running up 30 flights of stairs. This time I just did 8 times because I felt the need to pace myself as it has been a very busy week.

Random play improves vitamin uptake!!!

The beauty of this is that climbing stairs, running after your little one and general play like that at a soft play area is great for your vitamin levels because it makes your body absorb nutrients better.

SCIENCE BIT Studies show that weight bearing exercise like this increases the bodies uptake of calcium which means you get stronger bones. Without the movement you just pee out a large amount of the calcium you take up. The same is true for many nutrients because without movement and other challenges on the body it literally doesn’t see the need to extract the nutrients from your stomach and your blood. They just get pee’d or poo’d out (this is a daddy blog surely I can say poo :-).

Wbich means that random fun like this is the best way to inspire your body to grow stronger because it is practical in that you are just being yourself around your family and friends. Whatever you do with them is what your body needs to be prepared for and at the same time you remind your body that it must be prepared for all sorts of things instead of your staple movement diet. This ensures it doesn’t get lazy and wasteful with nutrients and resources and keeps bones, muscles and sinew strong and working well.

Investments in health

So you see I know that because we ran around, played and laughed my little dude will actually get more out of his lunch than if we had sat around and done nothing. So I could just sit back and relax after a great bit of fun because I knew I had made a real investment in his health and mine at the same time. Pretty neat huh.

The best reward 🙂

And of course a good job done deserves a good reward.  One simple tip I use is to hydrate more because our bodies are mostly water and so the most important nutrient for them is water. Fast food on the other hand is generally low on the water content and designed around strong flavours like salt and sugar and providing lots of energy which is fine if you take that into account. So here you see I finish my Krushem (The new cool mint one which was pretty nice) and in the background is the water. This is how I give my cravings what they want but also my body what it needs.

It s an obvious point but it’s also easy to forget how important the simple things are. Krushems, mcflurrys and the like are desserts, That’s how I see them, they are entertainment, as is most fast food. So it’s important to balance them out with a few real nutrients. Do that and you can have all the fun you want 🙂

That’s plenty for today. Tomorrow is a birthday party and a whole lot of taxi driving. Right now I am teaching my little one to play by himself which gives me time to write this post. Remember I am supposed to be a PE teacher in a school with 30 kids running around the place. So while encouraging him to direct his own learning (the school speak we’re all getting used to) feels natural to me, it might not be for you I am simply sharing my way of creating a little me time within my parenting time. I really like the effect it has on him and because it is also how I was brought up I’m used to it. It essentially means I focus on quality of time with him over quantity. That’s just my choice because I ran, jumped, slid and laughed with him a lot today so I don’t feel guilty encouraging him to play on his own. Now he has got used to it he loves it because he knows I’m there and I’m in a much better mood than if I ignore my own needs all the time. He just comes over and sits with me or climbs over me as is his wont, whenever he wants. There is nothing quite like writing a blog post with your little one curled up beside you watching something or playing. Happy days :-).

What works for you?

So how do you guys get on with play days, soft play areas, fast food and just lounging around. I’m using these things to practice for Christmas because there will be a lot of all this family stuff and I want to make it good for me and fun at the same time so I think it’s worth trying things out and getting good at it. Do you have any questions, tips or ideas? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for listening, and make sure you laugh with those close to you today 🙂


If you want to find out how to get fit by doing the things you love like I do then checkout parent workouts

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