Walking is a great way to move, make friends or enjoy me time.
Date: 13 October 2023 Author: Energise Me
Growing up, Catherine always enjoyed being active. But after becoming a mother, she noticed her activity levels dip. Now, with her husband and her children, Catherine has found ways to move her body while having fun as a family.
Since I was young, I have played in a variety of different sports teams. Tennis is my main hobby now. During the first year of having both my children was when I felt my least active. I was using all the excuses: I don’t have the time, I’m too tired or I’ll start tomorrow. I felt I should be doing more, even when I only had two hours sleep the night before. Now, looking back, I realise I was putting too much pressure on myself. Life had changed, and the expectations I put on myself needed to change too.
After my eldest, Orla, came along, my husband and I managed to keep up the long walks as we could have her in the carrier. Though as she got older, the distances got shorter – she wanted to walk too rather than be carried. We don’t mind that at all. We’re just so happy Orla enjoys walking and being outside. Now we’re in a similar situation with our youngest, Fianna. So, we plan on doing the same thing and hopefully she’ll have the same love for walking as her sister.
Then one day, as a family, we can re-visit some of the long walks my husband and I did before they were born.
I like walking together and I like walking with Rosie [her cousin] we have lots of fun outside. – Orla, 5
We love getting fresh air, seeing different places and (especially at the moment for our girls), jumping in massive puddles. If we do fancy a longer walk, we plan a flat route where we can push Fianna in her trike and Orla pops on her bike. That way everyone is happy.
Now that Orla has cracked riding her bike, we are looking forward to going on cycle rides as a family. My husband loves going out on his mountain bike, so doing this together will be a great family activity. Fianna will be able to take in the view from her chair on the back of my bike and Orla will be able to lead the way. I can’t wait!
Orla has also joined me on little runs. Towards the end of last year, Orla asked me if we could go for a run. I was so happy, straight away I said, “yes, let’s go!” We didn’t go far – just around the block – but it was nice to be out running with her and having a bit of ‘us time’. We’ve now done this a few times and have gone further each time.
It’s a time where we can connect, create lots of happy memories and most of all have some fun.
We feel as parents it’s important to be active together. We want to set an example and be good role models living a healthy lifestyle. Showing enthusiasm and enjoying moving our bodies will hopefully encourage our children in the future to take part in active opportunities.
Being active together also means Orla and Fianna have family bonding time. Time where we are out of the house and away from all the screens. Usually for our walks, we see if any extended family or friends are free. We love it when they can make it. It’s a time where we can connect, create lots of happy memories and most of all have some fun.
For families who want to get active, I would say start little and work your way up. Don’t put pressure on yourself and don’t compare yourself to others. Every family is different.
Try to set yourself a target. Be it once a week or once a month where you do something active as a family. Even if you just start walking to the local park or once round the block, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll want to do it again.
Also, keep an eye out for any local sport clubs offering free taster sessions. These are great opportunities to try something new and meet other families in the same position. And sharing that experience with others whilst keeping active is a great way to boost your physical and mental well-being.