Making Exercise Fun

“We all can dance if we find music that we love” (G ANDREAE).Such wise words from a giraffe called Gerald, and I believe the same applies to exercise. Especially for children, who were born to be active - toddlers love to run, to jump, to play – but as they get older it has to be fun to keep them moving around!

As parents and carers we face increasing challenges trying to encourage children be active, battling against the mighty pull of apps, online games and non-stop children’s television - time once spent outside can easily be replaced by time spent sitting glued to a screen. Sometimes kids (and adults) think exercise is boring if it is just running or a long walk. But here’s the key - make it fun and they won't even think they are exercising! (M CHATMAN)

Frog image

The Daily Mile is a great example of a fun, non-competitive form of regular exercise that children all over the world have embraced…. who wouldn’t want to skip lessons at school every day for 15 minutes to run around in the playground with their friends? It’s a simple and free way to get children outside to run, walk or jog, making them fitter, healthier and it has the added benefit of making them more able to concentrate afterwards in the classroom. (E WYLIE)

These claims of academic benefits are backed up by research showing that exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain. (W SUZUKI). Studies show that some of the immediate effects of aerobic activity are alertness, an increased ability to focus, better concentration and improved attention span. Healthline endorses the view that exercise benefits children both mentally and physically, with experts saying activity allows children to have a better outlook on life by building confidence, managing anxiety and increasing self esteem. (A TALA)

And let’s not forget that obesity amongst young children continues to rise, with 1 in 10 children in Reception and 1 in 5 children in Year 6 now classified as obese in England (NHS DIGITAL) and the World Health Organisation claiming that childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. (WHO) These are worrying statistics… so let’s put the fun into exercise for children and get them moving around more - an active child is a happy, healthy child!

Personally, I’m taking my cue from Elaine Wylie - founder of the Daily Mile - and I’m hoping to do my bit to help improve the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of our children with my new book "SHOW ME". It’s a collection of animal rhyming verses which encourage young children to move around and have fun, suggesting actions and inspiring kids to play and enjoy themselves... grown ups can join in too!

Each verse is based around a different animal; can you run as fast as a cheetah, or jump as high as a frog? Maybe you can stomp around like a hippo or waddle like a penguin?

You can download some of your favourite "SHOW ME" verses for FREE now and please feel free to SHARE

Download here