Keep Winter Nasties Away With Prospan

With Winter comes coughs, colds, runny noses and respiratory problems. Times this by three kids and I can’t say SUMMER fast enough.

Children are up to four times more susceptible than adults to catch a cold this Winter.

Thankfully, this year we’ve had a reasonably good run and I’m the only one that has experienced a mid life crisis flu like symptoms.

One thing I’ve never been a big fan of are antibiotics. With all due respect to GP’s, it seems to be the “go to” medication that is prescribed when a child presents with a common cold. (I’m speaking from experience).

What many people don’t realise is that if antibiotics are used when they are not actually needed, the body can become resistant to them and wont work when they are actually needed.

I take a more holistic approach to the health and wellness of my family these days as I have lost faith in some mainstream medicine. For example, my 4.5 year old daughter became immune to steroid creams that treated her eczema and I have found that nutrition has played a big part in keeping her symptoms under control.

Back to coughs and colds. The kids and I enjoyed a brilliant day at the zoo today thanks to the lovely Clare at Double Edge PR and the fab team at bioRevive.

The day started not so great with my daughter who suffers from motion sickness vomiting all over herself and the car as soon as we parked at the Zoo. Not one to let a bad start to the morning ruin her day, I cleaned her up with wipes and threw on her brother’s dirty jumper that I found in the boot of the car and shuffled us into our 9.30am function.

Whilst the kids did their crafting and had their face painted, a group of bloggers had the pleasure of listening to herbalist and pharmacist, Gerald Quigley, discuss ways to overcome the common cold, chesty cough and bronchial problems.

Dr Gerald Quigley

One thing that really struck a chord with me was when he spoke about antibiotics and how we can become resistant to them. He mentioned that it takes 7 days get over a chesty cough and runny nose through a course of antibiotics and it takes just 7 days for these symptoms to pass without the use of antibiotics.

They were more well behaved than I expected.

They were more well behaved than I expected.

We were ultimately at the event for the launch of kids Prospan. It was launched last year and has been given rave reviews from parents, praising it’s taste and effectiveness particularly in delivering a good night sleep.

Prospan’s active ingredient (Hedera Helix) has been clinically tested in over 65,000 patients including 52,000 children aged between 0-12 years. The cough syrup is free of sugar, colourings and gluten making it gentle for little stomachs.

I go to several events throughout the year and this one was definitely a highlight for me. It was extremely well organised, not overly formal and we were not only able to take our kids, but we also enjoyed a full day at the zoo afterwards which the kids and I absolutely loved.

Jacob Zoo

Another highlight for me was the meeting the gorgeous Colette aka The HIIT Mum and creator of PT In My Pocket. If you haven’t downloaded her app, do it. It is absolutely my saviour as a busy mum with 3 kids.

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If you haven’t stocked up your medicine cupboard with cough syrup yet, get your hands on a bottle of kids Prospan and be ready for when Winter rears it’s ugly head.

Kids Prospan

Have you and your family avoided coughs and colds yet this year? What do you typically do to overcome Winter nasties in your household?

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5 Indoor Sports To Try This Winter

Indoor Sports

Now it’s no secret that I am a big fan of keeping active in the great outdoors. In fact, running in winter is my preference over running in the scorching heat.

Many people prefer to keep fit indoors, particularly during the cold, blistery, winter months and there is no shortage of options out there as James Roche explains below.

Winter can be cold, wet and dreary. The gyms become less populated, the temptation to stay indoors drinking hot Milo and eating Tim Tams grows stronger, and we’re reminded how much easier it is to ‘watch stuff’ than to ‘do stuff’.

For many, it’s a time of year where our fitness and nutritional goals can take a back seat, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can avoid the elements by staying indoors whilst still keeping active.

Here are 5 great indoor sports for you to try this winter!

Squash
Fast, frenzied and highly addictive, squash is one sport you must try this winter. No matter what your skill or fitness level, you’re guaranteed a super workout with this classic indoor sporting activity. A little knowledge of the rules is always handy, but as long as you have a ball and racquet in your possession (these can be hired at most squash centres), you really can’t go wrong!

Indoor Netball
Netball is one of the most popular sports in Australia. It’s a fantastic form of physical activity that can be played at any time of the year – inside or out. It can also be played by everyone.
Mixed netball has become a hit in Australia, providing a great indoor workout for players with varying ability. Whether you’re a determined Wing Attack or a speedy Centre, this is a great team sport to play that guarantees speed, fun, and perhaps even a trophy at the end if you’re lucky.

Table Tennis
Tom Hanks made it look pretty easy in ‘Forest Gump’, but rest assured, table tennis isn’t a game you will ace overnight. It might be played on a surface that’s just a fraction of the size of a regular tennis court, but you’ll be sweating up a storm in no time with this classic pastime. You can pick up a table and racquet set from a sports retailer such as HART Sport – it’s time to start practising!

Soccer
Indoor soccer has become a hugely popular game for sporting enthusiasts of all age groups and consists of two 13 minute halves. More than enough time to work up a sweat whilst using lots of skill and technique to kick as many goals for your side as possible.

Badminton
A sport where agility, anticipation and desperation are rewarded in equal measure, badminton is an exciting sport that anyone can play. All you need is a net, a racquet and a willing opponent. It’s that easy.
Many community fitness centres run regular competitions throughout the year, so there’s always an opportunity for you to refine your skills and improve your all-round game.

Australia is a nation that loves its sport, and while outdoor sporting games are guaranteed to boost our health and fitness levels, there’s nothing stopping you from exploring a new sport indoors, either.

Are you a person who loves to play sport outdoors during the warmer months and move indoors during Winter? What’s your favourite team sport to play?

This post has been written in colaboration with HART Sport

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How To Host An Active Kids Party In Winter

Outdoor kids party

With 3 kids under 6, it’s fair to say that I’ve been to a lot of birthday parties over the last few years and the majority of them have been held indoors.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that but why not try hosting your child’s next birthday outdoors. A lot of parents shy away from having a winter outdoor party but truth be told, kids love nothing better than running around in the fresh open air in a large park, oval or reserve and if it rains a little, it just adds to the excitement for the kids.

Here are my top tips on hosting your own active kids party in Winter.

1. Start the planning early.
Sit down with your child at least 6-8 weeks before the big day and discuss what type of party they would like to have. Whatever they’re into, tailor it to their interests. Some themes could include footy, soccer, basketball, multisports, bootcamp or a nature walk.

2. Pick your venue
A local park, reserve, footy oval or athletics club are all great venues to host an active sports party. If you are a member of a local club, they may even be able to offer you the rooms for a couple of hours to keep the cake, food platters, gifts etc. (depending on availability).

Find a convenient location near you. During the winter months, some sort of shelter is advisable. The kids may love a bit of rain but it’s not much fun for the parents. There are lots of outdoor parks that have rotundas but some of them require booking.

Once the venue has been confirmed, contact your local council to see if any permits or bookings are required. There are certain parks and gardens that are heritage listed and wont allow this sort of activity so it’s best to check with them first.

3. Menu Planning
Kids love party food, even more so if they’re burning up all of their energy playing sport. If it’s the middle of winter and your hosting a party in a park, hot food is not going to be your best option. Some healthy options include ham and cheese wraps, a fruit platter, crackers and dips, popcorn, corn on the cob. Pinterest is a great resource for more great ideas for outdoor party food.

Have a plan
Having a structured plan about what you are going to do on the day will not only assist with the flow of the party but it will also help you factor in the right amount of activities. As a general rule, I like to keep each activity to 15 minutes over a 90 minute period. This will allow you to pack as much variety into your little one’s special day and ensure non-stop fun. Having a 5-10 minute break at the 45 minute mark for food and drink is always welcomed by the kids. You can sign up to my Li’l Busy Bodies website to receive a free party planner.

Oh and don’t forget to include a mini presentation for the birthday child at the very end. Present them with a trophy in front of their friends and it will absolutely make their day.

Activities
You’ve got the theme, sorted a location, planned the food for the day, things are starting to fall into place. Now for the fun part – the activities.

If you are going to host your own active party, it’s important to know the basics. For example, if you’ve decided to host an AFL party, have a general understanding of the basic rules of the game. A mini match is a great way to end a party so knowing how many points a goal is worth, what holding the ball means, and how to do a basic bounce will give you some cred with these seasoned professionals.

Some of the time, not all of the kids attending will be into the same thing and if you know this in advance, then a multisport party is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Things to include are:

-Different types of relay races (with or without a ball)
-An obstacle course using hoops, hurdles, ladders, tyres (get creative)
-Tug of War
-Sack Races
-Various ball drills

Some other good advice is to round the relatives up to give you a hand especially if you’re going to have more than 10 kids on the day. I like to stick the basic rule of one helper per 10 kids.

Lose the Lolly Bag
If you are looking at an alternative to lolly bags as favours, try giving the kids a bag of soft balls or skipping ropes instead. The kids will get much more enjoyment out of them than a quick sugar fix. I wrote a previous blog about 20 alternatives to lolly bags which you can read here 20 Alternatives to Lollybags

Have FUN!!
My final tip is to have FUN. It doesn’t matter if the day doesn’t go exactly as planned so long as the kids just have fun! An active sports party is a great way for kids to party and the best part for parents? The kids are absolutely exhausted, they’ll be in bed early and the parents can put their feet up and relax.

Of course, if you live in Melbourne and you’d like to outsource your child’s birthday, feel free to contact Li’l Busy Bodies.

Have you hosted an active sports party for your little one in Winter? Any additional tips?

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6 Ways To Avoid The Flu This Winter

Flu Season

I must admit, my family and I have been lucky enough to keep the dreaded flu away over the past couple of years. Sure, we’ve all had the odd cold here and there but it has never got to the stage where we are bedridden for days. (Hopefully I haven’t jinxed us by saying that).

Once the flu takes hold, it can certainly stop many people in their tracks. It is spread so easily – in workplaces, in the home, at playcentres etc.

Below, David Smith provides some great tips on avoiding the flu this winter.

By taking a few simple steps each day, you can keep help keep the flu at bay this winter.

1. Keep it Clean

Germs love to live in mess and grime. Keeping the areas that you spend the most amount of time in is essential and this is particularly important for shared spaces such as offices.

Employers should be acting responsibly by investing in proper, daily cleaning services from specialists like AMC Commercial Cleaning to ensure that everything is as clean and hygienic as humanly possible.

2. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

You can’t work effectively when you are tired and neither can your immune system. Making sure that you get plenty of regular, solid rest is imperative because it will keep your body alert and fighting fit when germs start trying to kick in. There are lots of ways to improve your sleep patterns – cutting down on sugar and caffeine throughout the day is a great place to start.

3. Garlic is your friend
Garlic’s effectiveness at warding off illness is considered a bit of an old wives’ tale but it’s true – garlic is a triple-threat to viruses. Fresh garlic is your best bet as its active ingredient, allicin, will still be present. It evaporates quickly after smashing the clove though so don’t mess around. Use it in your cooking for maximum effect. Home made chicken broth is a perfect home remedy. The garlic, onion, carrot and celery are great anti-inflammatories and can also clear the sinuses.

4. Exercise for immunity
Getting the body moving is a great way to ward off illness because it also circulates important components in your immune system at the same time. Getting regular exercise will allow your body to better fight off infections before they can spread. You don’t even have to be doing a full-blown work out at the gym either – 30 minutes of cardio in the morning is all you need to get the heart pumping!

5. Wash your hands
Keeping yours and your families hands clean is important especially if you want to avoid spreading germs. Germs can spread so quickly – from keyboards, to credit card machines, to trolley handles. Try to use a natural, chemical-free soap for best results. Carrying around a hand sanitiser is a no brainer and be sure to use it several times a day.

6. Keep stress levels under control
Stress, unfortunately, is something many of us have to deal with daily but if you let it overwhelm you, then your body’s going to be far more susceptible to illness and the flu is no exception.

If stress is starting to damage your health, start looking at ways to relax. Reduce your workload, and engage in hobbies and activities that you enjoy. Find something that helps you decompress and embrace it fully. The benefits are substantial.

Have you been struck down by the flu? Please share any tips that have worked for you.

This post has been written in collaboration with AMC Corporate Cleaning.

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How To Start A Running Club At Your Child’s School

Kids fitness

Kids have well and truly settled into school. I am amazed at how quickly these little people adapt to life as school kids and how less reliant they become on their parents. (She says as she wipes away the tears after being denied a kiss and cuddle from her preppie at drop off this morning).

I knew that I wanted to get involved at my son’s school somehow but wasn’t quite sure how. With so many parents already putting their hand up to help on the numeracy and literacy program, I decided to get involved in PE (Physical Education) instead. So I started a running club and you can too.

Below are my top tips on starting a running club at your child’s school.

1. Approach the principal at a convenient time for you both or you could do what I did and bail him/her up in the playground after school.

2. Find out who the PE teacher is and connect with them. Discuss with them your desire to assist in the PE program in some capacity. (ie Starting a running club).

3. Get the PE teacher to send out communication to students and parents (we chose Grade 3-6) to gauge interest. This can be done in the form of an email or letter which clearly states the day and time of the proposed running sessions. Be sure to get written consent by the parent and to ensure that any medical conditions are flagged with you. Put a cut off date on it to ensure that all respondents come back to you by the specified time.

4. To work with children, you will need to apply for a Working With Children’s Check. It is not a difficult process but an important one. Once approved, you will have your WWCC within 10 business days.

5. When all the forms have been signed and returned, you can get started on a program. Knowing the number of participants is important as it will help with the structure of the program. Mine runs for 9 weeks and we have 51 little runners that have signed up. Week to week I cover off something different. For example, one week we focus on intervals, the next sprints, the following continuous running for a set period of time. Variety is key to the success of a running club as it keeps the kids engaged.

6. Goal setting! At the start of the program, I asked each child to come up with a goal. Something that they wanted to achieve by the end of the 9 weeks. It could be to run without stopping for 2kms or to improve their overall time at the school cross country run. Whatever it was they had to go home and write it down and keep it somewhere that they could see it. As a group, each week I get them to set a mini goal that they can achieve together. Last week it was to run 3 laps of the oval without stopping and this week they have increased that goal to 6 times. Giving them the power to come up with the goals themselves encourages team work and it also makes them feel a sense of achievement once they achieve their goals.

7. Keep it FUN! A sure way to get kids to lose interest in a running club is to just make them run and run and run. Kids develop many skills through play so be sure to include lots of games that will still put there running skills to the test. Try different games as a warm up, poison ball, tag, follow the leader. We also incorporate relays into the run club. I divide the group into either 2 or 4 teams then run relays that incorporate running with balancing and all over body conditioning. (burpees, star jumps, ski jumps). Each week I also provide the group with an interesting running fact. They absolutely love it and they all take turns to guess the answer. This is carried out during the warm up.

8. Mix up the location to prevent boredom. We alternate our sessions between the school oval and the neighbouring school oval which is substantially bigger.

9. Praise, praise, praise! Kids love to be told when they’re doing a good job. Throughout the course of the session, be sure to commend them on a job well done. It keeps them motivated and wanting to come back week after week.

10. Always cool down – Cooling down is an important part of any exercise regime and a kids running club is no exception. Our cool down’s always include a range of different stretches that focus on major muscle groups. It’s a great time to congratulate them on a job well done and to discuss goals for the following week.

So there you have it. How to start a school running club. Easy hey? Do you get involved in your child’s school? What have you put your hand up to do?

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard