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  • InCrafty Kids, Resources

    Keeping children entertained during a coronavirus lockdown (COVID-19)

    With so much panic around a Coronavirus lockdown circulating, naturally our worries are starting to spread. 

    Panic buying has seen empty supermarket shelves and families scrabbling around for nappies, baby formula or medication. Parents are also beginning to panic that the government will close schools for weeks (or months) as part of a Coronavirus lockdown.

    Baby and toddler groups and special events are being postponed, and the usual places to take the kids are having to close their doors. Therefore, our lives as parents and carers may soon be unrecognisable. 

    For this reason, there has been a lot of chatter on social media asking how we will be able to keep the children entertained if we go into a Coronavirus lockdown due to the pandemic.

    Can we take the kids out of the house during Coronavirus lockdown?

    The Coronavirus situation is changing daily, so keep checking the latest Coronavirus updates.  

    Also keep an eye on the NHS website for medical advice, how to spot Coronavirus symptoms and the latest recommended guidelines. 

    It is likely that the UK may go into a Coronavirus lockdown at some point, and therefore only essential trips will be advised. Currently, however, there is no suggestion that you can’t go out with children. 

    The main point is to try to minimise contact with the ‘at risk’ group (over 60’s, people who are ill, those showing symptoms etc).

    In general, the advice is to stay at home for 7 days if you have coronavirus symptoms:

    • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
    • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

    Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

    Also, please remember that the elderly and vulnerable are also in need. Therefore, please do check in on anyone who you think might be at risk during this difficult time. 


    So how are we going to survive the lockdown with kids in the house?

    Aside from educational packs that are expected to be provided from schools, here are over 70 ideas to help keep your little ones busy whilst stuck indoors.

    Ideas to keep the kids entertained during the Coronavirus outbreak

    70+ ways to entertain the kids in a Coronavirus lockdown

    coronavirus lockdown ideas

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    coronavirus lockdown ideas

    Old school ‘free’ ideas

    1. Read books – go through the shelves, organise books and read one a day that you’ve not looked at for a while
    2. Learn to draw animals from shapes – look on YouTube for ‘how to’ videos
    3. Play in the mud/ jump in puddles
    4. Sort toys by category, type or colour
    5. Play hide a seek indoors
    6. Play charades
    7. Draw a picture and frame it
    8. Go on a garden search – look for worms, stones, shells etc.
    9. Have colour treasure hunts – hunt around the house for items of a colour and sort them into displays
    10. Paint rocks to hide in the garden
    11. Write letters – particularly to older relatives, friends or neighbours who may be feeling isolated
    12. Make a den or put a tent up indoors
    13. Look through boxes of old photos and organise them
    14. Have movie days – make a cosy bed on the floor and have a movie
    15. Learn new jokes
    16. Use washing up liquid or bubble mixture to make bubble snakes
    17. Have water play outside or in the bathroom
    18. Write a story and illustrate it
    19. Share housework and give kids simple tasks such as dusting
    20. Wash the car together
    21. Weed the garden
    22. Think of a topic and do a project on it – use the internet to research it and make a workbook or display
    23. Play shops with tins from the cupboards, plastic bags and receipts

    Free but needs a printer / basic craft supplies

    1. Turn a rock / potato into a character and make it a house
    2. Make a collage with different textures or pictures from magazines
    3. Do colouring – print colouring sheets from CBeebies, Milkshake or Pinterest, or buy a colouring book
    4. Download activity sheets to practise writing letters, maths, puzzles etc. – look for blogs with free worksheets
    5. Draw with chalk – on the patio or pavement
    6. Make your own Top Trumps – look or make up facts
    7. Do painting – paper, canvas or body painting (if using safe paints)
    8. Make play dough – find a simple DIY play dough recipe online
    9. Sew something – use string or wool, a needle and cardboard if you don’t have any specific equipment
    10. Make a card for someone
    11. Cut up pictures from a magazine to make your own jigsaws
    12. Plant seeds or bulbs in the garden 
    13. Play or download flash cards
    14. Make a melted crayon picture – look on Pinterest
    15. Make a robot from an old box

    Tech ideas

    1. Listen to podcasts – 500 Words, Science Adventure Stories for Kids, Rebel Girls, Bedtime Explorers, David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical podcast (look on Spotify, BBC Sounds, your phone’s podcast app)
    2. Write emails to friends if you can’t go out to post
    3. Download Cbeebies apps – Playtime Island, Go Explore, Storytime, Peter Rabbit, Numberblocks etc.
    4. Ask Alexa for games – look on the skills app for ideas of story-telling apps and quizzes
    5. Download educational apps – phonics, letter formation, numbers, reading etc.
    6. Make funny videos using Instagram or Snapchat filters
    7. Start a YouTube channel – record toy videos, cookery or acting out stories
    8. Create a time-lapse video of what happens in a day
    9. Facetime, Skype or video call friends and relatives who you may not being to see
    10. Watch educational videos together – Baby Einstein, school resources on YouTube etc.
    11. Go on journeys with Google Earth – look at places you go, your house, and places all around the world

    Buy some activity packs

    1. Find books for rainy days / crafty project books – from Amazon, The Works, Hobbycraft etc.
    2. Subscribe to educational boxes (at least for the 1st free trials and cancel before you are charged) e.g. Toucan Box, Mister Maker Box etc.Buy cheap activity sets – B&M, The Range, Home Bargains, Hobbycraft, Poundland or PoundToy.com
    3. Buy some comics or kids craft magazines that contain puzzles or creative ideas

    Play with toys already in the house

    1. Have a teddy or dolly picnic
    2. Make Lego, Duplo, Sticklebricks builds (and allow them to be left out)
    3. Make Hama Beads creations (loads of ideas on Pinterest for patterns)
    4. Play boardgames Set up a scene with figurines, Barbies or superheroes
    5. Play with sand
    6. Pack rucksacks with toys and play holidays in different places indoors
    7. Create a school and role play children and teachers

    Cook with the kids / Food

    1. Bake – look online for healthy snacks that your children can bake
    2. Get the kids involved in preparing meals e.g. making their own toast or cereal, sandwiches, supervised chopping etc.
    3. Ask the kids to create a menu and design their own restaurant or cafe
    4. Play with food colouring to experiment with colour mixing

    Performing arts / Exercise

    1. Learn to sing new songs
    2. Make music – use any instruments you have, or make your own from everyday items at home
    3. Learn dance moves from videos
    4. Learn to do a cartwheel or handstand
    5. Do yoga together – check out kids yoga on YouTube
    6. Do kids workouts – look at The Body Coach for his kids routines
    7. Make an obstacle course
    8. Make targets and use balls to try to hit them
    9. Act out your own version of a movie
  • InHealth & Wellbeing, Recipes, Seasonal events

    Easy banana pancakes recipe for Pancake Day

    The easiest banana pancakes recipe you’ll ever find.

    When it comes to pancakes, there are really two types that the kids love.

    Then big flat traditional crepe-style pancakes or the fluffy fatter ones.

    Both are a super simple and have their merits.

    The difference between pancakes

    The traditional pancake is more exciting for kids to watch being prepared, and the icon of Pancake Day.

    It’s the one that you can legitimately serve up as an entire meal on Shrove Tuesday, with no guilt. If they want to try to beat last year’s record of how many they can eat, then that’s fine too. It’s only once a year, after all.

    Not only does the flipping process makes it more fun, but they can get involved with the preparation too. Older kids can help by chopping fruit to add to pancakes, and younger ones can get messy adding their toppings themselves.

    And if it’s too much of a rush to squeeze in after school, no doubt it’s what they will be enjoying at nursery, school or playgroups as part of learning about Shrove Tuesday. So again, no guilt.

    But then there’s is a whole other type of pancake for kids to try.

    The smaller fatter ones require less preparation, have extra fruit hidden in them, and are naturally sweet, so need very little toppings adding.

    They are great for using up bananas that are a bit too squishy to be appetising, and ideal as a toddler snack or for baby-led weaning.

    And like the traditional pancake recipe, kids can eat a load of them without any worry about stuffing them with junk.

    So here’s our tried and tested family favourite recipe.

    banana pancakes recipe

    Easy peasy lazy banana pancakes recipe

    I originally made this recipe up based on an even easier version of these yoghurt snack pancakes when me daughter turned 1.

    The recipe for the pancakes that includes yoghurt is super easy, but I wanted something with even less ingredients and time to prepare. If you can’t even be bothered to reach onto the top shelf and grab the flour, you can even make them without that too.

    I even make these with protein powder as a recovery meal when I’ve come back from a run. I wouldn’t recommend giving that to kids though. Keep that as your own post-exercise recovery treat.

    So, 2 (or 3) ingredients that can be adapted to suit the whole family. What could be easier?

    Easy banana pancakes recipe

    The recipe made 6 pancakes.

    Ingredients

    • 2 bananas on the softer side
    • 1 egg
    • Half a cup of self raising flour (optional)

    Method

    • Mash up the bananas in a bowl.
    • Add an egg and mix in.
    • Add the flour to thicken the mixture if using.
    banana pancakes

    Mix mashed banana with a few lumps, the egg and flour together in a bowl

    • Heat a pan and add some butter or oil (1 teaspoon of coconut oil) on a medium heat.
    • Add a spoonful of the mixture to the pan, flipping using a flat cooking utensil when it looks like the side is cooked.
    banana pancakes

    Spoon the mixture into a pre-heated oiled pan

    • Once both sides are cooked but not burning, remove from heat and leave to cool slightly before cutting into bitesized pieces of strips if easier to handle for baby-led weaning.
    banana pancakes recipe

    Cook both sides until the mixture sets

    • Add a little honey (optional) and your toddler’s favourite fruit such as blueberries. Add a dollop of natural yoghurt too.

    Enjoy!

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  • InSeasonal events

    World Book Day: Easy to find dress up ideas

    It’s almost that time of year again.

    The time of year when parents across the globe dread those 3 little words:

    “World Book Day” – 5th March 2020

    Of course, it’s really nothing to dread. In fact, it’s something to celebrate and fully get behind for our children.

    World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

    World Book Day costume

    The thing to dread is the inevitable fancy dress costume that your child will ask for.

    Even worse, parents often face the last minute panic of scrapping together an outfit for World Book Day because either the school forgot to send the memo, the kids forgot to give you the letter, or you simply forgot to check your notifications on the app.

    Whichever one it is, and no matter how awesome it is, World Book Day is another thing that parents have to try to fit in.

    So we thought you might need some help organising a World Book Day fancy dress costume that’s not too expensive and is easy to find.

    Even better, you might even be able to pick it up whilst you do your weekly shop.

    World Book Day dress up that’s easy to find

    Asda George. The bigger Asda stores might have a selection of costumes in, but otherwise, you can do click and collect within a couple of days, or select next day delivery directly to your door.

    George at Asda

    Sainsbury’s. With lots of costumes on offer this is one to plan ahead as they currently have 25% off but only until 17th February 2020.

    Sainsbury’s dress up

    Matalan. The costumes here also have 25% off, so order soon to make sure that the one you want isn’t out of stock.

    ALDI. These Specialbuys are always a “once they are gone, they’re gone” deal, but there is a selection of outfits available to order online or pick up in store. You might just have to chance your luck to get the right sizing.

    ALDI dress up

    TK Maxx (& Homesense). These can be a bit hit and miss in terms of what is in stock, but if you can find something, you’ll definitely bag yourself a bargain.

    TXMaxx dress up

    B&M. This shop can also be tricky to guarantee what you might find on the day, but they have an app to help.

    B&M fancy dress

    Then there is eBay or Amazon.

    Or if you’re more adventurous and well-organised, look at Pinterest for some homemade costume inspiration.

    Find out more about World Book Day.

    And read this handy guide to see how you can be involved.

    World Book Day

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  • InCrafty Kids, Family friendly days out, Seasonal events

    FREE half term activities at IKEA Coventry

    Are you looking for some half term activities to keep the kids busy?

    You might remember just before Christmas that IKEA announced some pretty epic free breakfast with Santa events. Well, they’ve gone and done it again.

    IKEA is putting on free half term activities that the kids will love.

    Free half term events at IKEA Coventry

    We all know how horrific a shopping trip with kids can be. Whether it’s the supermarket or post office, children get bored, fiddle with things they shouldn’t or you end up carrying them out after a meltdown over nothing.

    A trip to IKEA can be better as it’s almost like an adventure playground already and they really cater for the kids, but there’s still a chance it can all go a bit Pete Tong. Even with the offer of meatballs and hot dogs.

    Over February half term however, IKEA is going that step further again. The stores are offering children the chance to take part in some free activities to make the shopping experience a whole lot better!

    Kids can pick up a treasure hunt sheet for the chance to win 1 of 5 hampers. There are spray bottle craft sessions where they can make their own piece of art using washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies. And of course, don’t forget, there’s also the free SMÅLAND crèche for children over 3 years old.

    IKEA treasure hunt

    Pick up a copy of the treasure hunt and enter for the chance to win 1 of 5 IKEA hampers,

    IKEA Children’s Craft: Spray bottle art

    Using spray bottles, washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies and a pinch of your creativity, you’ll be able to make your own piece of art.

    What you need to know:

    Treasure hunt:

    • Pick up a copy of the treasure hunt from Meet and Greet on level 6
    • Once completed put your sheet in the post box at the back of Checkouts on level 3 for a chance to win one of our five hampers
    • Running from 15th February 2020 – 1st March 2020
    • Read more at https://events.ikea.com/gb/en/events/#/book/10823

    Children’s Craft: Spray bottle art:

    • Using IKEA spray bottles, washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies and a pinch of your creativity, you’ll be able to make your own piece of art. Once completed, you can take your creation home for free.
    • The workshop is suitable for children aged 4+
    • Places are FREE but you can only book one workshop per IKEA Family member
    • Your places will only be held for 10 minutes after your booked time slot to allow for enough time to run the workshop
    • Last day of registration is Sunday, 16 Feb
    • Running from 15th February 2020 – 1st March 2020
    • Book at https://events.ikea.com/gb/en/events/#/book/10819

    SMÅLAND crèche:

    In addition, remember that IKEA also offers plenty of child-friendly places to grab food, lots of toilets and baby changing facilities, and toys around the stores too.

    Find out what’s happening at IKEA Coventry or find your nearest IKEA store holding these half term events.

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  • InKids workshops, Libraries

    Free activities for under 5s -Warwickshire Libraries

    Find free activities for kids

    It may have been a few years since you’ve visited, but if you have kids then libraries are an absolute must!

    Warwickshire is full of amazing libraries with weekly events especially for the kids. Whether it’s stories, nursery rhymes, coding or Lego that they are into, there’s something for all ages.

    So if you are looking for what’s on for children in Warwickshire, your nearest library is definitely a good place to look.

    Freebies from Warwickshire Libraries

    Apart from tonnes of books for all ages and interests, events for children are typically free, or at least very cheap. We all know how keeping the kids busy can start to add up! Even better, weekly classes tend to run during term-time, but some groups and special events also run throughout school holidays.

    Above all, you don’t need to be a member of a library to take part either. If you do want to join a library for your children up however, that’s also free too.

    Once they are members, there are a whole load of resources for children. Children can borrow up to ten books at one time, CDs, audio books, games and DVDs for instance. They can also request and reserve books for free, and keep them for out longer than adults.

    Free weekly activities for under 5s

    As big fans of the weekly activities at our local library, we therefore wanted to help you find your nearest.

    Here’s our handy guide for you to find your nearest libraries, events for under 5s, and how to join up.

    • BABY RHYME TIME – Songs and rhymes for newborn and young babies with their parents and carers. Therefore, ideal for babies not yet moving around.
    • RHYME TIME – Songs and rhymes for 0 to 2-year-olds and parents and carers. In other words, toddlers.
    • STORY STOMP – Fun for 2 to 4-year-olds and their parents and carers, following on from Rhyme Time.

    Monday

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Lillington Library 10.30-11am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Warwick Library 9.30-10am
    Rugby Library 11-11.30am

    Tuesday

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Atherstone Library 10-10.30am, 11-11.30am
    Shipston Library 10.45- 11.15am
    Bedworth Library 11-11.30am
    Coleshill Library 11-11.30am
    Polesworth Library 11-11.30am
    Southam Library 11-11.30am
    Stratford-upon-Avon Library 11-11.30am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Bedworth Library 10-10.30am
    Kenilworth Library 10-10.30am
    Leamington Spa Library 10-11am

    Wednesday

    Baby Rhyme Time (non-walkers)
    Stratford-upon-Avon 11-11.30am

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Rugby Library 9.30-10am, 11am-11.30am
    Stockingford Library 10-11am
    Alcester Library 10.30-11am
    Kenilworth Library 11-11.30am
    Wolston Library 2.30-3pm

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Atherstone Library 10-10.30am
    Wellesbourne Library 11-11.30am

    Thursday

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Warwick Library 9-10am, 11-11.30am
    Nuneaton Library 11- 11.30am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Nuneaton Library 9.45-10.15am
    Polesworth Library 10-10.30am
    Lillington Library 10.30-11am
    Shipston Library 11.30am-12 noon

    Friday

    Baby Rhyme Time (non-walkers)
    Atherstone Library 10-10.30am

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Wellesbourne Library 10-10.30am
    Leamington Spa Library 10.30-11am
    Whitnash Library 11.15-11.45am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Alcester Library 10.30-11am
    Coleshill Library 11-11.30am
    Southam Library 11-11.30am
    Stratford upon Avon Library 11-11.30am

    There are also events for older children including Chatterbooks (8-11yr), Lego Club, Code Club (9-11yr) and Book Magic.

    In addition, you can enjoy one-off events at Warwickshire Libraries.

    Find your nearest library.

    Free library activities in Warwickshire

    Find out more about Warwickshire Libraries.

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  • InHealth & Wellbeing, Resources

    Miscarriage support in Warwickshire

    Find miscarriage support near you

    Did you see the miscarriage research that has just come from Imperial College London?

    The findings from the recent study showed that miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can lead to ‘long-term post-traumatic stress’. In fact, they went on to state that one in six women experience these effects.

    650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss took part in the study. Consequently, it’s the largest ever study into the psychological impact.

    The results from this miscarriage research revealed that one month following pregnancy loss, 29% suffered post-traumatic stress, 24% experienced moderate to severe anxiety, and 11% had moderate to severe depression.

    Nine months later, 18% of women had post-traumatic stress, 17% anxiety, and 6% had depression. 

    It therefore highlights that we need more miscarriage support and aftercare.

    Experiencing miscarriage

    Sadly, here at Warwickshire Kids, we’ve been through miscarriage ourselves so we know just how devastating it is.

    No matter how many weeks pregnant you are, you lose your baby and all of the dreams you’ve already made.

    After that, the woman then has to ensure invasive medical procedures, the horrible physical process, and the longer-lasting after effects. Partners are often expected to ‘get on with it’, but they too are, of course, affected by the loss.

    One of the main reasons that it is so hard to understand is that there are no answers or reasons why. In fact, a lot of parents feel that they can’t talk about what has happened. It might even be that they don’t know who they can reach out to. In addition, other people don’t always know what to say or say the wrong thing to a grieving parent.

    This can make you feel very alone, so it is no wonder that it can cause mental health issues.

    Support for miscarriage

    If you have experienced an early pregnancy loss, your recovery and how you try to come to terms with it will be completely personal.

    Perhaps you’re a talker and could benefit from counselling? Maybe you prefer to read other’s stories? Whatever it is, for your own wellbeing, we recommend finding out what miscarriage support is available to you.

    There are 250,000 miscarriages and 10,000 ectopic pregnancies every year. In other words, you are not alone and not to blame in any way.

    Here is a list of organisations that you can contact for support to help with your miscarriage recovery.

    Miscarriage support will vary depend on your location, but we hope that you can find something.

    Helplines

    Miscarriage Association – helpline 01924 200799 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)

    Tommy’s – helpline 0800 014 7800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or email at midwife@tommys.org

    Child Bereavement UK – helpline 0800 02 888 40

    Sands – helpline 0808 164 3332 or email helpline@sands.org.uk

    Cruse Bereavement Care – helpline 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm) and a network of local branches where you can find support.

    Samaritans – helpline 116 123

    NCT

    Clinics

    There is an amazing resource under Professor Quenby who holds clinics in recurrent miscarriage in Coventry. You will need to speak to your GP to be referred.

    Support groups and counselling

    Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – (Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire) email at sophiagroup16@gmail.com. Support group on the first Tuesday of each month at Combe House, George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

    North Warwickshire Counselling Service – (Nuneaton) 024 7632 0095 nwcs.nwcs@btconnect.com

    The Acorn Centre – (Nuneaton) 02476 381878 info@acorncentrewarks.org.uk

    Hope Group – (UHCW Coventry) – pregnancy after loss

    Life Charity – (Leamington Spa) 01926 312272

    Online support groups

    Tommy’s Facebook support group – a safe destination for the baby loss community

    Public group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – DADS

    Read more about the miscarriage study at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/194715/miscarriage-ectopic-pregnancy-trigger-long-term-post-traumatic/

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  • InHealth & Wellbeing

    New year fitness tips for 2020 – Guest post

    As we wave off 2019 and welcome 2020, a lot of us will make plans for the year ahead.

    Often, even with the best of intentions however, we’ve given up on them by mid-January. This is especially true when it’s new year fitness goals.

    It’s not our fault though. When you have children, jobs, pets and a life, there can be lots of distractions. In fact, our goals may never have been achievable in the first place.

    So would you like some realistic new year fitness tips for busy lifestyles?

    Well, it’s your lucky day.

    We asked Sinéad O’Connor from Back To It Personal Training to give us her expert advice on how to set realistic fitness goals that we can stick to.

    Back to It Personal Training

    Here’s what she says.


    New Year, new you…

    Or rather, New Year, same you, only a much better version.

    There is so much focus on the whole ‘New Year, New You’ idea, and I think that it’s nonsense!

    With 52 weeks of the year, although we do like to over-indulge in December, the damage isn’t done in a few weeks of festive feasts. Yes, we all like to treat ourselves, but 1lb of fat is made up of 3,500 calories, so it’s a little more than the odd mince pie! 

    When it comes to setting new year fitness goals, just remember that you need to have balance to succeed. If you don’t eat, drink and do the things you love, then you will be miserable, and so will those around you.

    Try to consistently eat moderately and train often for both physical and psychological wellbeing. 

    I know it’s easier said than done however. Even when you are a personal trainer.

    Balancing exercise with parenting

    I am a mum of 3 boys under 3 with no family support locally. As a result, like most other families, I struggle to get everything done. I have to be everything to everyone who needs me, and still find time for myself.

    Something always gives, and it is usually my health and wellness.

    In 2015, I ran the London marathon. I was the fittest I had ever been, and whilst training I fell pregnant with my first son Harry. After he was born, I went back to work after a few months and hardly saw him. I didn’t exercise as much because of my 50-60 hour weeks, so I got bigger. I then fell pregnant again when he was only 4 months old.

    During my second pregnancy, I put on 4 stone and suffered from SPD. I decided to start studying to make a career change because I wanted to do something which I was really passionate about. I also wanted to help others in the same position as me. 

    After my second son was born, I took a major risk and left my job running a successful health and racquets club to start up my own business, specialising in pre- and postnatal fitness.

    And that’s where Back To It Personal Training was born.

    Fast forward 2.5 years, and my third son is now 11 weeks old. During this pregnancy however, I stayed active and carried on working.

    I set myself little goals each week, and even managed to grow the business despite the obvious challenges.

    Goal setting

    To help me to manage the business, I took on a lovely lady called Laura to deliver my classes whilst I concentrated on baby and ran the business from behind the scenes. She is now running her own classes for BTIPT and we have doubled the amount of classes we offer. As it turns out, Laura was one of my clients and a mum who also decided to re-train and do something she loved.

    I suppose the message is to never feel trapped. No matter what your fitness goal is, set small steps to achieve them in the longer term. By making time to be active and working hard, it will happen!

    Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

    New year fitness tips for making a healthy start to 2020

    There are plenty of excuses not to exercise.

    We all do it, and worse still, we then crave quick fixes because our body isn’t getting enough protein and healthy fats. Did you know that if you don’t consume enough of these 2 macronutrients your blood sugar can rise and fall at an abnormal rate? This causes those darn sugar cravings!

    Here are some really simple new year fitness tips for you to make some positive changes in 2020.

    1. Get to bed early. Ok so I know that this isn’t always possible with youngsters around, but try and do it. Just 1 extra hour a night could be an extra nights sleep over the week. Sleep, or lack of is definitely the solution and cause to everything in my opinion!
    2. Find out what your BMR is. Without this, you are pushing water up hill. Create a deficit (if required) in line with you goal. Track your calories, allow for treats, and don’t make yourself miserable!
    3. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Buy a big enough bottle, fill it at the beginning of the day and make sure you drink it all.
    4. Get support. Tell people around you that you are trying to change so that they can support you.
    5. Find a training buddy. Or perhaps a group because they will push you to train, even when you don’t feel like it.
    6. Be consistent. It’s the only way to get long term sustainable results.

    Home workouts

    It’s not all about going to the gym either. Make exercise work around your family.

    Here are two quick workouts you can do from home, even with the kids around. You don’t need any special equipment and they are guaranteed to make you sweat! Do these at least 5 times a week for 6 weeks and track your calories. You will get results!

    AMRAP 15 (As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 min)

    Write down how many rounds you did and set challenges to beat your record each week to track your fitness progress.

    If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook there are always other exercises you an switch and change to keep things fresh:

    • Mountain climbers x 10
    • Jumping jacks x 10
    • Sit ups (ab crunches for ab separation) x 10
    • Press ups (knee adaption for ab separation) x 10
    • Sumo squats x 10

    Tabata 

    4 minutes of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and 1 minute break before moving to next exercise:

    • Sargent jumps
    • Rock press
    • Squat
    • Tuck up (ankle tap for ab separation)

    And finally

    Don’t follow the fad diets and quick fixes. They don’t work in the long term. The science is really simple; create a calorie deficit and burn more.


    If you’ve been inspired by Sinéad’s words, drop her an email at mail@sineadoconnor.co.uk or send her a message on Facebook.

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