How to… keep the kids active this summer

If the Great British Summer ends up wet and windy and you’re stuck indoors, or if your children prefer Minecraft and TV to running around outside, try tempting them with this great set of Disney-inspired physical activities from the NHS Change for Life initiative.

Shake it up with Disney inspired activities
Shake it up with Disney inspired activities

The 10-minute Shake Ups feature dance moves and games with characters from loads of Disney favourites including Moana, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Cars, Zootropolis and Jungle Book.

The NHS recommend at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children to stay healthy in body and mind, so a few of these will ensure they reach that target.

How to… keep active on holiday

Aaah, the summer holidays. A whole week or two to really get stuck into that exercise routine that’s been on your to-do list for months.

Passport? Check. Magazines and books? Check. Trainers? Check.
Actual physical activity undertaken on holiday (except for a gentle stroll from hotel to beach)? Um…

With all the best intentions, it’s not always easy to keep active while you’re away on holiday. And if you don’t manage to, it feels doubly disappointing because if you can’t find time in a whole week of not working, when can you find time?

I think the trick is to lower your expectations of how much you will actually do. It’s probably unreasonable to expect to want to run for 10 miles in 30 degree heat after a night on the cocktails.

You can also credit the ‘fun’ stuff as actual physical activity. Here are some ideas:

* Getting into the groove after a few glasses of sangria? Go for it ¬†– dancing is a great exercise, and you can test out your most outrageous moves knowing that you’ll never see these people again.

* Walk a little bit further to discover those quieter bars and restaurants away from the tourist hot spots.

* Does that pool look tempting? Challenge yourself to swimming a number of lengths or for an amount of time each day.

* Are you on the 5th floor of your hotel? Walk up the stairs instead of getting the lift.

* Explore. Have a look on Google maps and find somewhere interesting to walk or jog to. Going off the beaten track (safely) can bring other rewards such as discovering a lovely spot for a picnic, or an amazing view.

Beach Olympics: Silly holiday fun for all the family
Beach Olympics: Silly holiday fun for all the family

* Beach Olympics! A new favourite of mine to play with the family. You can mark out a straight section of sand as the 10 metre sprint or build up sandy hurdles for an extra challenge. A frisbee can be the discus event and a tennis ball can act as a shot put. Beach volleyball, obvs. And the high jump can be a mound of sand that gets higher and higher with each successful jump.

I wouldn’t recommend a javelin event on a busy beach though.