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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Our Family Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Goals for 2016 with Decathlon

It maybe cliche but there is no better time than the start of a new year for you to evaluate the year gone by and make plans for the future. There's no doubt about it, 2015 was a fantastic year for us but although I do try to plan for us all to eat healthily, exercise and ensure we take care of our mental health too, there is still a long way to go. We definitely still eat too many takeaways, order the wrong foods when we are eating out and take the car to places we could just as easily walk. It's all about making little changes I think and as much as I would love to say 2016 will be the year I lose 4 stone, I say that every year and nothing changes, so instead, I am focusing on a healthy and happy family with 5 easily achievable goals.

A huge thanks to Decathlon who have provided our family with a bundle of products to help us achieve our fitness goals. Their new store has just opened in the Team Valley Retail Park Gateshead and was a joy to walk around when compared to other sports superstores I have visited. The staff were friendly, the layout simple and easy to navigate and their prices are extremely competitive too. They stock everything from waterproof hiking gear to gymnastics wear, table tennis tables, fishing equipment, bikes, scooters and more and they offer a FREE click and collect option via their website for next day delivery to store with no minimum spend. Fantastic! Back to our goals for 2016 though........

1 - Drink More Water

It is recommend for optimum health that women should drink 3 x 500ml bottles of water per day and men 4 x 500ml bottles. There is no way I reach this level at the moment. I think my fluid intake probably consists of 3 x strong black coffees and 1-2 glasses of pepsi. I would love to say I could cut out coffee but this won't be happening! I am however going to limit myself to two cups per day and drink water for the rest of the time. I'm going to get the kids involved too - they do actually like water and can help themselves at school so there's no reason why this can't continue at home. I am planning to give them their own water bottle to store in the fridge door (these 0.75l ones are only £1.50 each and easy for kids to open) and encourage them to help themselves at breakfast and after school.

2 - Enjoy an outdoor walk together as a family at least once per week

Walking is something that is free and easy and can be enjoyed whatever the weather. We've been known to pull on our waterproof trousers and wellies and take a stroll in the pouring rain before - it is actually quite energising and kids love jumping up and down in muddy puddles! Make sure you check out our top tips for outdoor family fun in the winter to ensure the kids are prepared and for grown ups make sure you invest in some decent waterproof walking shoes. Steve swears by these ones which have so far kept the rain out and provided lots of support.

You don't need to spend a fortune though. I picked these walking shoes up that more than do their job for only £14.99.

One final note about walking with the family and back to that dreaded coffee. There have been many times when we've been out and about with the kids and I've noticed other families stopping at picnic benches to open their flask of coffee whilst their children play. I am always so jealous of this as I sit nearby choking for a cuppa! but now I can be the one people are envious of as I have my very own flask that holds just enough coffee for two people and will be joining us on our 2016 adventures.

3 - Teach Jack to ride his bike so we can ride to school together

Something that has really frustrated me in the last few years is Jack's inability to ride a bike! Harry and Heidi both mastered this skill when they were only 2 years old but Jack is stubborn and refuses to even sit on a bike most of the time. He is now 5 years old and has both a balance bike and a bike with stabilisers but still can't ride either. Our walk to school is a 1.5 mile straight walk along a LONG cycle path. This usually takes us around 20-25 minutes in the morning and I can't wait for the day we can all cycle to school in less than 10 minutes. It will make our mornings so less stressful if we can leave a little later! We really enjoyed cycle rides together during our trip to Center Parcs a few years ago (Jack was in a trailer) and I will do whatever it takes to ensure by the end of the Summer holidays in 2016 to prove that Jack can ride a bike! Whether this involves choosing new bike accessories or maybe some new protective clothing and a funky new helmet or trying him with it every day, I will do whatever it takes. Any pointers will be gratefully received!

Children's bike selection at Decathlon Gateshead
Children's bike selection at Decathlon Gateshead

Helmet buying guide and selection at Decathlon Gateshead
Helmet buying guide and selection at Decathlon Gateshead

4 - Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude

As much as your physical health is important, I am also a strong believer in looking after your emotional wellbeing too. I took part in 100 days happy with the Northumberland Mumpreneurs last year and it was lovely posting every day about something we were happy about. I would love to extend this with the kids and maybe encourage us all to write something we are thankful for that day in a family gratitude diary. Look out for a post with more on this soon!

The kids took part in a Yoga course at school last term and have chatted excitedly about it for weeks. They loved learning different positions and it's something I would like to continue at home together as a family. Decathlon stock over 1000 different yoga products but we will be starting out with a simple tracksuit to get us in the right frame of mind. Studies have proven that yoga substantially increases a child's mental ability (including creativity) and fights depression. Win Win! We will be following some youtube tutorials and I might dedicate a post just to them so keep your eye out if you are interested in following our progress.

5 - Try 5 new sports together in 2016

In 2015 we tried our hand at clay pigeon shooting and archery at the Calvert Trust and loved the challenge of trying something new together as a family. I could see the huge sense of achievement in the kids' faces and wish I could bottle the feeling myself! This year we would love to try more new activities whether this be the new climbing wall at our local sports centre, learning to swim when we are on our annual summer holiday or maybe even boxing or judo. There are lots of opportunities out there and in 2016 I would like us to try at least 5 new sports.

Heidi checking out the archery equipment at Decathlon Gateshead
Heidi checking out the archery equipment at Decathlon Gateshead

Looking back it is quite a list! I have worked hard though to ensure our goals are easily achievable and are small steps that will hopefully make a huge positive impact on our lives. Do you have any family health, fitness or wellbeing goals for 2016? I'd love to hear them.


1 comment

  1. I'm a huge fan of Decathlon Sam, having found it on holiday in France a few years ago. I love how they have an aisle for every sport ever invented! I also love their camping stuff, and as we need a new tent this year we'll def be heading over to the new branch in Gateshead. SO happy we have a local branch now.
    Teaching kids to ride a bike can be SO frustrating. There can be a lot of fear involved as it's really a case of mind over matter. Both of our boys were quite reluctant, but I found teaching them on the grass at the park gave them a bit more confidence that they wouldn't hurt themselves if they came off. Balance bikes definitely help them, but it's really down to a lot of patience on your part if i'm completely honest!!!! Loving your resolutions...


I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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