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How to Empower Your Childrens Health and Wellbeing

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    Whenever Cathy Underwood is asked to take part in the parents vs. children’s sports day, at her son’s primary school, Cathy jumps at the chance. Cathy always loves taking part in these activities, it’s so much fun and she feels completely energised afterwards. Plus there’s a subconscious bonding element about this playtime together and always plenty to laugh about, especially at mum!

    Being active and choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is a learned behaviour and something that starts at home at a very young age. With a growing increase in adult and child obesity new measures to get active and healthy is something we parents and guardians have to take seriously for the sake of our children’s physical and mental wellbeing.

    The Department of Health, health survey for England reports that 62.8% of adults are obese and 30.3% of children are too. This shocking report is one reason for the Governments long-term strategy ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’: to improve the public health of England. The vision clearly outlines that improving and protecting the nation’s health and wellbeing is a ‘collective responsibility’ between society, government and individuals.

    If we are to play a part in this vision then we as parents, teachers and carer’s must become the positive role models our future generation requires. We can then bridge the divide that threatens the health of our community.

    As a yoga therapist and practitioner Cathy works with the community largely forging positive relationships between adults and children.

    Cathy uses Yoga because it is a therapeutic, non – competitive activity, suitable for all levels and abilities. It is ideal for the family as no one will feel left out or unable to participate. Regular practise will help each participant become more aware of themselves and others, building a mutual respect between family members.

    Finding time to play, eat and talk together is something essential for maintaining the family bond. So why not inspire each other further and come together in yoga exercise?


    Family yoga top tips:
    1. Agree a time and place to practise 10 minutes of yoga once a week, this can increase over time
    2. Sit in a circle on cushions for comfort and all hold hands
    3. Take a deep breath in and a slow breath out 5 times
    4. Release hands and stretch arms up to the ceiling on an inhale, as you exhale release them down
    5. Inhale reach arms over your legs and exhale, try to touch your toes repeat 3x
    6. Inhale lift your body into a Crab, body up with arms and legs straight breathe freely repeat 3x
    7. Sitting cross-legged put your hands on your shoulders and repeat 8 slow twists of the torso
    8. Repeat No 2
    9. Hugs!
    Cathy Underwood is a mum of two and director of the award winning YOGA4MUMS & YOGA4CARE: specialising in yoga and movement therapy for mental health, learning disabilities and other areas of health care.

    Cathy is also the inspiration behind the Enfield’s Fit! Campaign working with Kevin Matthew, Fitness For Your Future, to inspire the community of Enfield to stay active and fit!

    Cathy offers classes for all families visit www.yoga4mums.com
    Free Summertime Yoga Manual available too
    www.yoga4mums.com/freeyogamanual
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