How to stay healthy this festive season

December – the indulge now, pay later month. The time when it’s somehow ok to snuggle up in front of the TV with a huge glass of Merlot and a bumper box of chocolates. And the season when healthy eating and exercise are generally put on hold.

“It doesn’t have to be that way”, says Action Amanda. “You can still have a fantastic festive season without the overindulgence.” “And ” she adds, “contrary to popular opinion, Christmas is a good time to get all the family into healthy habits – why wait unti l January?”

So who is Action Amanda and is she for real?!

Amanda’s spent the past 25 years running her Action Club – award – winning , pre – school classes and parties across London and the south – east . She uses her own modern nursery rhymes and b ags full of props to get children moving and learning through play. “I just love, love, love my job! I get to see children learn, grow and develop – what could be better than that?
My aim is to ignite a passion for movement and exercise in children, but also in the ir parents. I want them to continue to move throughout their lives.”

“One in ten children starting primary school in England is obese and by the time they leave that figure has increased to one in five that’s a statistic that just fills me with horror”, says Amanda, adding, “but it doesn’t have to be this way.” Amanda believes parents have a key role to play. “If parents are healthy and active, then it’s likely their children will be too. That doesn’t mean strict diets or gym memberships simple things like walking and park visits are free and can easily be built into everyday life.”

Amanda believes that Christmas is a great time to start. “Families are together, people have time off work and children have lots of energy to burn off – this is a great combination. Being healthy and active shouldn’t be a chore – it should be something everyone enjoys.

“Spend time outside”, says Amanda. “Children love the fresh air and it’s good for them. They love kicking and chasing a ball and also love to be chased. Take them to a playground and challenge them to play on as many different pieces of equipment as possible.”

“Spread activity throughout the day. Walk, scooter or cycle with them. Park the car ten minutes away from where you’re going and walk the rest of the way. ” And if it’s too cold to leave the house- worry not. Amanda says there are still plenty of things you can do to get everyone moving:

  • Play Hide and Seek – a classic game but one that encourages children to run around. Make Housework Fun – it doesn’t have to be a chore – set challenges and get your kids involved. You’ll probably find they enjoy cleaning the windows and washing the car!
  • Do Indoor Yoga or Gymnastics – children love doing forward and backward rolls and making shapes and letters with their bodies.
  • Download the Amanda’s Action Club App – everyone can join in with the mini workouts and dance routines.
Amanda says as well as exercise, it’s important to think about nutrition and hydration.

“Encourage healthy eating habits and make sure your children drink enough water. WUBL spring water is a great new product to try. Steer clear of sugar – filled drinks and snacks – children really don’t need these.” Her ultimate piece of advice though is to “just have fun”. It seems, if you do it the Amanda way – getting the whole family active and keeping them happy and healthy really is child’s play!

Contributing article by Amanda’s Action Club. Her app is available free to download. Instructions here. And her Get Fit Song is available to download on iTunes.