How to use sport to avoid the back to school blues

Thursday 21 January 2016

It's holiday time, which means sleeping in, having breakfast a bit late, no school drop-offs and pick-ups and none of the add-ons that can make daily life a little too crazy.

But when the blues of going back to school and getting moving again come round, we'd rather have you on the front foot!

With a little digging, we have found a few tips for you and your family to stay healthy and active through the holidays and make 'back to school’ less of a hassle!

Talking about the blues, it's always good to remember the benefits of exercise on mental health: reduced anxiety, depression, and negative mood, improved self-esteem and cognitive function, which are sure to benefit your little ones and the entire family.

Before we get into the detail, the main tip is simple: plan in advance!

Planning will ensure you can keep everyone active and healthy when you travel or sit back to relax this summer!

Here are four simple tips you can do:

1. Schedule a family 'active day'

At the end of the day, you are on holidays. So lack of time should not be an excuse to skip exercising. Pick a time of the day you know everyone can commit 30 minutes to be active, at least three times a week.

It could be walking your pet, a trip to the grocery store or a walk on the beach. Anything really, as long as it is not couch time.

2. Take your family for a day out

Brisbane and the surrounds have many national parks within short reach. Some of our top picks are D'Aguilar National Park and Daisy Hill Regional Park, as they make for an easy walk and/or also allow cycling the tracks. With more than 20 options to choose from, you are sure to find one to suit the whole family.

If you are travelling interstate or overseas, then this is an extra reason to explore a new location.

Another option is voluntary work. Apart from getting the kids moving, it is also a great way of getting them involved in a good cause. Many retirements villages or nursing homes welcome visitors and it could be an opportunity for some residents who have no family to be delighted by the presence of youngsters around.

3. Stock up well

An ice cream here and there is ok to help beat the heat. However, healthy snacks, fruits, veggies, whole grains and all that good stuff known as "nutritional foods" should also make the list!

Smoothies and juices are great ways of involving the kids, let them get creative and have a treat with some yummy healthy recipes.

4. Join seasonal sports events

Runs are a fun way to exercise with the whole family! You can use it as a training motivator to prepare for the event and then have fun on the day.

Events such as the Colour Run and Run Series 1 on the Sunshine Coast or the Fun Run Pink Gold Coast are all happening this January. They are great extra chances to keep moving and enjoy a relaxing day by the beach afterwards!

 

Lucy Clark

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LUCY CLARK
Lucy is UQ Sport’s marketing assistant. She’s a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’, who exercises so she can fit into her jeans. You’ll find Lucy either in Pilates, the gym, or being dragged around town by her pet labrador.