If Mini could, she would walk from sunrise to sunset, only stopping occasionally to say hello!Bye! to every passing soul. We have to keep the front door locked, or she’d be out in a flash and rest assured no matter where we are-indoor play centre, doctor’s waiting room or hairdresser’s salon, she will have identified the way out within moments of her arrival and will be keenly plotting and implementing her exit strategy. Similarly though, she would be more than happy to park her bum in front of the TV all day as long as a Peppa Pig marathon was on offer or sit in front of the iPad for hours. So like many other facets of parenting. it’s about finding a happy medium. That means me getting off my arse to get involved and help keep her interest level up and her movements safely monitored!
I’m very aware of the need for physical exercise for Mini due to the fact that kids with Down syndrome are susceptible to easy weight gain possibly due to having a slower metabolism so I was really interested in this campaign that Safefood are running. They’ve recently published the results of a study about Irish youngsters which makes for grim reading including stats such as
1/4 of our kids are obese and 4/5 of kids are not getting enough physical exercise. According to Government physical activity guidelines, they should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
A more sedentary lifestyle has dire consequences for growing bodies including
breathing difficulties and problems with bone health. Long term effects could include heart disease,diabetes, and even cancer.
It’s not always easy to get out in the fresh air, especially when the lovely Irish weather is so changeable and often less than pleasant to enjoy and an hour might seem like a lot but you can break down the 60 minutes into smaller chunks. If you live near a shop or school-consider walking instead of taking the car-that’s possibly 15/ 20 minutes activity. Coloured chalk can make a bright hopscotch grid that will keep enthusiastic kids occupied and if the rain does wash it away, it can be quickly be redone,ready for another session! We recently bought a small indoor trampoline to help Mini with her jumping skills-this could be another 10 minutes.
Check out these other fab tips from SafeFood on how to get your kids moving.
Best of all, they have a list of favourite childhood games for you to check out with your little ones, including ones which brought back many happy memories for me.
Anyone for a game of ‘What time is it Mr.Wolf?’