The school run, remember what that is? Well it’s been a while, but as schools across the nation resume some state of normalcy, drop-off and pick-up is again part of our daily lives. However, rather than settle back into old routines, now is the perfect opportunity to spice things up and bring in some physical exercise to start the day off right.
NHS data shows that less than 50% of UK children are meeting current physical activity guidelines and 20% of children in year six classified as obese. As sedentary lifestyles, gaming and Netflix binges continue to blight our natural instincts, our children are failing to get the physical exertion they need.
The school run provides us with the perfect opportunity to not only get the blood flowing and our bodies moving, but a chance to engage and connect on a much deeper level with our children. For busy parents, it’s also a chance to get our own heart rate up and get some exercise in before we kick off a day at the office, or increasingly, in front of Zoom calls.
The difference between a short drive and a long walk can be all that is needed to turn your fitness around. This is a journey that needs doing twice a day, five times a week, so you can quickly see the benefits of ten bursts of energy a week. Cycling, jogging or even scooting to school can be a great way to bring more activity into your daily lives.
For the parent, you can increase the pace on your return or onward journey too, making sure you break a sweat. We know a few mums who get their active wear or running gear on to take the kids to school, only to really open up on the run home, taking scenic routes and diversions to make up a 5k or more.
Of course, not everyone has a school within a sensible walking or cycling distance. In some cases there may even be busy or dangerous roads en-route which make those activities difficult.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of parks and recreation grounds. Arriving half an hour early for school could give you the time to do circuits round the playing fields, kick a football about, or even just run around and play in the playground.
The morning routine before school can be quite a whirlwind with time steadily slipping away in a desperate attempt to make sure the kids are fed, dressed, have their bags ready and get to school on time. That’s without factoring in feeding the dog, getting yourself together and managing any number of daily appointments, meetings and work calls.
The uncomfortable secret to getting on top of all these things and getting out the door with enough time to get physical exercise, is getting up earlier. Maybe that means going to bed a little earlier, watching one less episode of a boxset before bed.
Also, instead of thinking this needs to be an everyday event. perhaps you’ll decide to incorporate a more active school run just one or two days a week. Whatever you decide, now more than ever is the time to improve fitness and get fresh air into our lungs.
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