Thursday 22 February 2018

Stay energised with diet and rest

There's more to family fitness than exercise. The right foods and sleep count too, says Siobhan Byrne

Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Side lunge: 1/ Stand upright with your arms by your sides.
Side lunge: 2/ Then, taking a step to one side, lower your body down and lean your torso slightly forward with your weight on the outside leg. Keep the trailing leg straight. Then simply push off your leading foot to return to start position. Repeat all reps on one side first.
Squat thrusts: 1/ Start by going into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
Squat thrusts: 2/ Then from there thrust both legs out and back to full extension, then return to start position and repeat. Ensure that you keep your tummy tight and do not let the lower back dip when your legs are extended.
Front bridge to T: 1/ Support your body off the floor in the top of a push up, resting on your toes and hands with your arms straight.
Front bridge to T: 2/ Raise one hand upwards towards the ceiling, rotating your body at the same time. Look up at your hand and hold that position briefly, then lower yourself back to the floor and repeat the same movement on the opposite side.
Curtsy lunge & kick: 1/ Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.
Curtsy lunge & kick: 2/ Step behind and across into a curtsy, lowering your body down towards the ground.
Curtsy lunge & kick: 3/ Push off the front foot back to start position then kick the leg straight out to the side. Complete all reps on one side first.

Siobhan Byrne

Last week we discussed how setting goals is key to helping you and your family stay focused on fitness, even into autumn when work and school life settle into a pattern again.

As active as we are as a family, we still really enjoy our well-earned downtime. Our pet dog plays a huge role in getting us outdoors, and, as parents, we have a responsibility to make sure our kids are fit and leading a healthy, balanced and fit lifestyle.

There are a couple of key ingredients when trying to stay active as a family:

• Healthy eating, and

• Getting enough rest and sleep.

You may have heard me say in the past how much more energised you feel after training, even if at the start you wouldn't feel up to it. This still stands, but sleep and rest are also important, as is healthy eating - both are key to providing you with real energy.

Choosing foods such as lean meats, fresh vegetables and a small amount of starchy carbohydrates are the basis of good, balanced meals. We all know the foods that make us feel slow, tired and sluggish, and for kids it is no different.

Choosing fruit, not candy, eggs and oats instead of processed, overly-sugared cereals, and perhaps making some homemade healthier snacks with the kids can be a great way to properly fuel your body and keep energy levels up without the sugar hit from processed and packaged treats. There are lots of simple and tasty options online for you to choose from.

Sleep is key, too. Parents know how difficult it can be to get a good night's rest so, just as your kids need to wind down before bedtime, so do you.

We have a rule in our house that we don't use our phones or laptops after 7pm. This not only gives us time to focus on family life, but also a chance to relax and unwind without the pressures of work interfering.

Everyone is different, and this may not suit all households, but take time to explore how best you and your family can unwind to better achieve a restful night's sleep which, in turn, will help you feel energised and refreshed for the next day.

Training as a family: Part three of four

Side lunge

1/ Stand upright with your arms by your sides.

2/ Then, taking a step to one side, lower your body down and lean your torso slightly forward with your weight on the outside leg. Keep the trailing leg straight. Then simply push off your leading foot to return to start position. Repeat all reps on one side first.

Squat thrusts

1/ Start by going into a squat position with your hands on the ground.

2/ Then from there thrust both legs out and back to full extension, then return to start position and repeat. Ensure that you keep your tummy tight and do not let the lower back dip when your legs are extended.

Front bridge to T

1/ Support your body off the floor in the top of a push up, resting on your toes and hands with your arms straight.

2/ Raise one hand upwards towards the ceiling, rotating your body at the same time. Look up at your hand and hold that position briefly, then lower yourself back to the floor and repeat the same movement on the opposite side.

Curtsy lunge & kick

1/ Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.

2/ Step behind and across into a curtsy, lowering your body down towards the ground.

3/ Push off the front foot back to start position then kick the leg straight out to the side. Complete all reps on one side first.

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