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Mum and dad sideline activities

The trouble with being a loving, dedicated parent is that it means most Saturday mornings are taken up sitting on the sidelines at some kind of sporting activity.

I am a freelance journalist dedicated to travelling and keeping fit and healthy. A tragic (but proud) cat lady, I believe in the importance of staying strong, active and healthy in the most practical ways possible. I’m also committed to laughing every day, even if that means at myself…which is usually the case. Robyn Box

As mums and dads we quickly learn to be resourceful with our time, whether it’s negotiating school drop-offs or fitting in kids’ haircuts around weekend activities.

While our children’s health is important, and the joy of seeing them play sport is priceless – we can lose hours driving around to community centres and sporting fields.  And this often means we miss out on time to look after ourselves.

By keeping a spare set of trainers in the back of the car, getting fit on-the-run could be the answer according to HBF’s exercise physiologist, Max Tamatoa.

“The time parents spend on the sidelines at children’s sport is a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some small workouts,” Max says.

“You can use the time between plays and during breaks for five-minute circuits, doing five different exercises for one minute each.

“That way it’s possible to fit in 10, maybe even 15, minutes of exercise at the same time you are supporting your kids.

“There are plenty of exercise options, such as squats and triceps dips or why not pack some light arm weights, strap them on and cheer on the team.”

HBF’s Dr Duncan Jefferson says “it’s not just the type of exercise, it’s the amount. So yes, even an extra five or ten minutes a day helps.”

That should be enough encouragement for all of us to squeeze in those squats (pardon the pun!) during half time.

Some great ways to get those bodies moving while on the sidelines include: 

Muscle work

If you can, sit at the back of the stands. You can see everything from up there anyway! Whenever ‘time out’ is called, or someone kicks a goal or there is a changeover in play, use your seat to do some triceps dips. You’ll be amazed at how many tricep dips you can sneak in during those few minutes, but remember to warm-up.

Cardio work

Lap the field  during quarter time and half time breaks, or if you are in a stadium walk around the perimeter instead. But don’t just ‘walk’ – power walk.  The quicker you walk, the harder your heart will pump and the better you’ll feel, plus you’ll be back at your seat quicker to watch the game.

Stretching

Stretching is fabulous not only for your body, but for your mind. It’s the simplest ‘exercise’ you can do while on the sidelines, so let’s do it! Work on your neck, shoulders, arms and wrists (particularly good for those of us who work on computers all day) – that way you can watch the game closely and not have to leave your seat.

Introduce your own mini workout routine into the game and you’ll feel the difference in no time. The best thing? You’re supporting your family and yourself to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

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