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As a Mum of two rapidly growing daughters (it is scary how quick they grow up isn’t it?!) there’s always the worry that their gadgets and 21st century lifestyle makes them less inclined to exercise and move their bodies. If they’re only exercising their fingers… there’s a problem!

I recently worked with a Mum and her 14 year old daughter (read her testimonial here) and gentle encouragement coupled with nutrition education and developing a mindset of “healthy not skinny” was paramount to her journey and success.

If you have young people in your family who need a little motivation when it comes to diet and exercise, here are some B-Fit foolproof ways;

Lead by example

If you’re a fridge raider, junk food addict, takeaway queen etc how about starting something together? Whether that is deciding to cut out processed foods together, drink more water each day or even try some new healthy recipes together, working together on a better diet will show your teen that you can lead by example. They’re more likely to stick to it if you’re doing it together.

Ask questions

If your teenager doesn’t like to exercise can you find out why? If she’s self conscious for example, you could explore home based activities (I have a series of home exercise videos for clients that can be done in the privacy of a lounge or bedroom, providing there is enough space).

Can you brainstorm with your teen the types of activities they could do to get moving? They may not have realised that some sports and activities could be classed as exercise. A dance game on a games console for example will help get a teen moving.

If your teen is studying for exams or feeling under pressure, consider a more relaxing form of exercise such as yoga to help with the stress.

As with point one, consider going along to something together. I have had many mums and daughters over the years who have attend my group personal training sessions together. You are more likely to motivate one another working as a team.

Get prepared

Be prepared to supply your teen with the items that s/he will need for their new found exercise. New trainers, workout gear, sports equipment, classes etc all need to be factored in.

When it comes to food, think about getting the kids involved and plan meals together. Not only will this save you money as a family and cause less wastage but you can explore new recipes, tastes and foods together. They are more likely to eat it if they know the nutritional value and have helped prepare the food, than if you just plonk it in front of them.

Prepare lunches. We all know that schools these days have an obligation and a duty to provide the best food possible for students, however, school dinners will always have some element of choice of foods and not all will keep your teen on track. Preparing food at home ensures that they will stay on the right path.

Eliminate

Junk foods including takeaways, confectionary and soda should be limited if not got rid of all together. Obviously this is much harder in principle than on paper. YOU most likely do the shopping for your family. If you don’t buy it… they can’t eat it. Not at home anyway.

Outings as a family

Consider arranging outings as a family such as walks in the countryside, bike rides, rock climbing or visit places such as the Chill Factor in Manchester for a day on the artificial slopes. You will have so much fun as a family and it won’t feel like exercise.

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