February can feel like a strange month. You are out of the depths of January and It’s post-Christmas shadow. Flowers are started to brave the cold and peek out of the earth, sending us the promise of spring. But it is cold. Often February is the coldest month in the whole winter. The days remain short and energy can feel depleted.
That is why we have chosen February to energise you. January would have been too soon. Although we often get a New Year surge it can quickly be lost amongst the return to routine and the post-Christmas comedown. SO, February is the time to start feeling renewed and energised and to gear us up beautifully for the seasons to follow.
The dictionary definition of energise is to ‘give vitality and enthusiasm to.’
We can gain vitality and enthusiasm and therefore energise ourselves from so many places if we choose to. See our ‘list of 10’ on the main page for some pretty great ideas. Focusing on things / people that do not drain our resources but instead boost them is a key idea. For the grownups reading this, meeting up with a good friend for a chat can leave you with a spring in your step or for children, having a great time on a playdate. Positive people make you feel good.
Focusing on foods that boost us; activities that stimulate us; projects that excite us … all give you a buzz of energy. The anticipation beforehand and then the satisfaction afterwards are both brilliant energy generators.
It goes without saying that exercise is a key way of increasing our energy levels and giving us this ‘vitality’ and ‘enthusiasm’. That is why we have chosen this as the focus of our workshop this month. If we exercise regularly our stamina improves as does our health and mental wellbeing. Exercise is increasingly becoming one of the key areas recommended to help boost mental health. This has a great deal to do with endorphins, the key hormone we produce during exercise. Often, we may not be in the mood to exercise but if we force ourselves out the front door to go for a run we feel a whole lot better afterwards. Once home and panting in the porch, the endorphins kick in, and suddenly that run feels good. Endorphins are our body’s pain-relieving chemical and work in a similar way to morphine. They serve to give us a natural high. Which is awesome and very … well … energising!
Finding time and motivation for exercising when you have a family can be tricky. If you separate the exercise from your children and try to fit it in before they get up or when they go to bed, all too frequently the energy levels are just not there. Which of course is ironic. If half-hour of exercise was squeezed in, those energy levels would steadily increase. But the call of the sofa and tv can be overwhelmingly loud and comforting.
So why separate family and exercise? This is not an original idea. Park Run for example has become a huge family destination in parks all over the country every weekend. But our aim this month is to make exercising as a family even more accessible, easy and sustainable.
Integrating exercise into family life benefits everyone on so many levels. Obvious benefits include setting a great example for your kids; If parents are healthy, the children learn too. Other key benefits are that everyone experiences that post-exercise rush of endorphins so it puts the family in a good mood. Win win!
‘Teamwork is Dreamwork’. Sounds cheesy? Perhaps. But it is spot on. A whole section of the exercises on the workshop are done with a partner. You need each other to complete the move and this is a great way of helping your children feel important and valuable. Exercising together offers a great opportunity to encourage each other and be positive about each other’s strengths.
If you exercise outside (our obstacle race is a fab way of doing this) you get that all important element of fresh air and vitamin D from the sun.
And lastly you can make it really fun. A brilliant opportunity to be silly together.
The workshop is packed full of different ideas to help excite and inspire you to get active with your family.
So this month we encourage you to gain energy from as many areas as possible. February may well be on the chilly side but it also holds great promise for the year ahead. Look for the positives and set yourself up for spring.