This post has been sponsored by Bupa
Murphy is alive and well in our household. If I drop the toast, it will be butter-side down. The morning of my twenty year high-school reunion, I broke out in acne reminiscent of my seventeen-year old self. And the week my family signed up for the Bupa family challenge supporting Healthy Harold, we were hit by the dreaded Brisbane flu.
But we persevered and will take some of the challenges with us into healthier weeks. That’s the great thing about the Bupa challenges – you can easily extend them beyond the suggested week. In fact, hopefully they result in changed habits so that you extend them into life in general.
I love a good challenge. Nothing motivates me more than a list of things to do, so I was delighted when Bupa invited my family to take part in their healthy challenge. Our family eats fairly well and we move regularly, but I know there are plenty of areas we can improve. We chose the All Systems Go Challenge as it offered a range of things to improve on as a family. Life Education in collaboration with Bupa delivers the All Systems Go module to schools across Australia. It teaches kids how their body systems work and why it’s important to eat good food and exercise. This challenges works in conjunction with that module.
So, despite our collective sickness, how did we go?
The challenge started by encouraging us to examine our sleep patterns. You know the first thing I thought about? PRINTABLE! And of course I have one here to share with you. Printable obsessions aside, I know I always feel better when I am in a regular sleep rhythm. I am an early to bed, early to rise sort of girl and I find that my mind functions more clearly when I keep those hours. My husband is more of a night owl and late riser. We try to get both kids in bed before 7:30pm. That leaves a bit of time for us to connect. I think when we are considering sleep patterns, it’s important that we do set aside those precious hours after the kids are in bed and before we turn in ourselves, to connect with our partner.
Next thing on the list was getting out into the fresh air and enjoying some exercise as a family. There is nothing like a bit of sunshine when you aren’t feeling well. Whilst we didn’t push things, we enjoyed some family time in a local park. My husband and boys kicked around the footy. The kids mucked around on the play equipment and I went for a gentle walk. Once we are all feeling up to it, we will head out on a family bush walk or bike ride and incorporate those into regular weekend outings. Now that the weather is getting warmer it’s perfectly lovely to get outdoors and exploring. We also walked/scooted to school a couple of times and it’s such an easy way to inject some exercise into everyone’s day. Not to mention shaking out the all the cobwebs before school starts!
Part of the challenge is to commit to regular exercise in the weeks ahead. I know that can be tricky when you have a little one in tow, so I am going to explore the Brisbane Active Parks program and see what little E and I can do together. (As an aside, I have come to accept that I can no longer call my enormous two year old “baby”.)
One area that I know I can improve on is the boys’ snacks. My lovely mum actually helped me out with this one. She offered the boys a variety of fruits, cheese and other snacks on little platters when we headed over one day for afternoon tea. They tried some new things and I realised that I should definitely be upping my afternoon tea game. (Sadly, it often revolves around pikelets and cheese and bacon rolls). Bupa have some great ideas for kids snacks within their nutrition toolkit when you are stuck for inspiration (and/or grandmothers).
With everyone unwell, I have been hyperaware of our fluid intake. And I realise it’s something I need to be more aware of, all of the time. The kids each have their own school water bottles and we have a collection of randomly branded ones that we could be putting to better use. I have started filling those with water and having them in fridge, ready for my husband and I to grab when we head out. I seem to be very good at remembering the kids water bottles and very bad at remembering my own. The challenge may also have suggested reducing caffeine intake. I read that bit very quickly.
Overall, the challenge was an excellent kick start into spring and all the outdoor activities that it brings. Getting the kids involved made it feel less like an exercise in exercise and more like planning fun things together as family. I am definitely looking forward to weekends full of walks, hikes, bike-rides, swimming and just hanging out with the lovely men in my life. The dog also approves.
If you want to join in the fun, and maybe kick start some healthy habits on the way to summer, you can learn more at the Bupa family challenge supporting Healthy Harold website. You don’t have to be a Bupa member to be involved and you can win some great prizes for completing the challenges.
Bupa have paid me to write this post. All opinions and words are my own.