Let’s face it, most of us would benefit from being getting a bit (a lot?) more exercise. Children over five and teenagers should, according to the Department of Health, be doing a bare minimum of 60 minutes ‘moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity’ every day. And once you reach adulthood you’re not off the hook. If you’re between 19-64 you should aim to be physically active for at least 20 minutes every day, and for no less than an hour and a half each week.
When you see it written down like that it doesn’t look that much, but for many of us there can be little time between work and family commitments to focus on fitness. It’s often the last priority when it should really be right up there. How can you do everything else that’s expected of you, after all, if you don’t look after yourself?
So here is a fun, and sociable (and slightly competitive!) fitness challenge for the whole family to enjoy over the Easter break. I’ve done it with a family I teach regularly, so it’s a tried and tested workout! This is your chance to see who’s the fittest - mum, dad, or the kids!
Rachel’s five day fitness challenge!
The whole family needs to do the five exercises below for the week leading up to Easter Sunday. To make sure everyone is motivated to stay the course you could offer a special Easter treat as a reward to everyone who completes the challenge.
Start by doing 4 repetitions of each exercise on Monday 30th March, then add one extra repetition of each exercise per day until Easter Sunday, by which time you'll be doing 10 of each.
Do make sure you all do the workout on something soft when you’re lying down, a carpet will do as long as you have no back problems.
And that’s it!
I’ll be posting on my blog and facebook page too so please let me know how you’re getting on, who completed the task and what your reward was!
The Eggsercises – sorry, but it is Easter!
Roll down and walk the plank
Standing up straight to begin with, feet hip distance apart. Start to roll your spine down starting from the neck until your hands are close to the floor. Bend your knees, put your hands on the floor and start to walk forward with your hands until you are in the plank position. Take a breath and then walk your hands back until they are near your feet and roll back up.
Start kneeling on all fours, then lift your right arm and left leg at the same time and balance like a flying superhero. Hold it for a moment, then do the same on the other side. You need to do both sides to count as one repetition.
The Chiswick Bridge
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip width apart and arms down by your side. Pull your tummy in, tilt your pelvis towards you and roll your pelvis up starting from the tailbone until your body is in a bridge position with your pelvis in the air. Take a breath, then roll the spine back down onto the floor.
The Westside Leg Lift
Lying on your side, bottom arm straight out in line with your body and with your head resting on it. Make sure your legs are together and that you are completely on your side so that your hips don’t roll forward and you are not arching your back. Place the hand of your top arm in front of your chest with elbow bent. Breathe out and try to lift both legs off the floor without your spine arching or your hips rolling forward or back. You need to keep your body in as straight a line as possible.
The Chiswick House Swan Prep
Lie on your front with your arms bent, elbows close to the sides of your body and palms facing down. Pull your tummy in and away from the floor. As you breathe in lift your back up slowly until you feel the weight on your elbows. Breathe out to lower back down to the floor. If your back feels ok, you can progress to lifting up until your arms are straight. At no point must you sag in the back, keep the abdominals pulling in to protect your lower back. The kids will do this one easily, us adults find it a bit more challenging as our flexibility decreases with age!
Don’t forget to let me know how you got on by posting here or on my Facebook page!
And a very Happy Easter to you!
© Rachel Lawrence. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.