The summer holidays are upon us! This means two things; a holiday has been booked and/or the children are at home. Either way, you will either want to know how to get that beach body or a bit of peace and quiet this summer.

Personal trainer and nutritionist Rupy Grewal joined me on the show to discuss all this and more! I began with keeping the kids occupied during the summer break.

Rupy suggested some activities you can do with your children and grandchildren including swimming, cycling and simply visiting the park.

Everybody loves swimming and it is a great exercise for the entire body, Rupy explained. It is great for entire body alignment, as a cardiovascular exercise, is low-impact, and an exercise you can all do together as a family.

Cycling is another brilliant family activity for the day. You can plan a route, take a packed lunch, pit-stop in a park or in a lovely area, and cycle your way to a fun day and fitness.

A simple location to take the children is the park. Parks have monkey bars, enough grass for the children to run around and release energy, and they even have outdoor gyms that include climbing ropes and weight-orientated activities – so you get a free gym in a way!

For grandparents looking after their grandchildren and finding it difficult to leave the house due to ailments, there are various activities you can do in the comfort of your own back garden.

Rupy suggested setting up an obstacle task with four different areas, and pretend there are sharks in the middle. The children can do jumping jacks, run to one corner, sprint to another, and put a timer on the game to make it more fun and bring out the competitiveness in them!

Bringing playground games into the garden is also a fun way of keeping the kids occupied. Playing tag builds up cardiovascular strength, is great for blood circulation and for the muscles. Hop-scotch is resistance training, improves flexibility and works your muscles without you even knowing it. For adults, doing hop-scotch while doing single-leg squats, by going down on one leg, is beneficial – so you can join in with this game too!

Skipping is fun for all and the Beep-test game is a classic PE (Physical Education) exercise where you run from one cone to another. It is a form of interval training as it includes sprinting, recovering, sprinting, recovering. It also manipulates the heart-rate and builds endurance.

Sports Day activities also work well in the garden or park and brings out competitive playing. You can opt for the egg and spoon race as one idea!

Or better still, ask your grandchildren or children to help with the gardening as they are able to help and learn, and if you grow vegetables or fruits, they can understand where these foods come from and the time and effort that goes into them.

This may all sounds as though everything is harmonious. But we understand that children cry and sometimes you have no idea how to make them stop! Of course, there are many reasons why children cry. But exercise makes you feel happier because it releases endorphins. So create fun exercises to have happy children!

I understand that there are children with disabilities and that some parents may not know what exercises and activities to do in this case. Rupy referred to the Paralympics that included wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, power-lifting, and more. “Everything is there as an adaptation”.

She also recommended DC Active which is a company that do sports for children with Down syndrome. So there is wide range out activities out there, it is doable, and it’s about finding the right organisation for you and your child.

If the weather does not allow for outdoor activities, and with the unpredictable weather in England we know this can very much be the case most of the time, there are activities you can do indoors. Running up and down the stairs may sound noisy and inconvenient but it is great exercise for both children and adults.

In fact, there are many uses of the stairs! After telling Rupy I walk up and down the stairs at work every day (four flights), she said “any increased activity is brilliant for the body”.

You can condition your calves by tip-toeing up and down from the first step of your staircase; do lunges from the first step; and another variety of exercises to tone your legs and glutes.

Talking of simply stepping, I asked Rupy: how beneficial is walking? Rupy described walking as one of the easiest and beneficial exercises as you are only carrying own body weight. You can make it more intense by brisk walking, or bringing in arms. It is easier on your joints than jogging.

Recently in the news, I read the jogging has led to some deaths. Rupy explained that the intensity is up-to-you, but anyone can jog. She advised warming up first – do not hit a hundred metre sprint randomly! Build yourself up gradually. You can also do some endurance training such as ‘jogging, running, jogging, running, and sprinting’. This is usually what I do!

Rupy advised: “push yourself to a limit that is safe”.

Exercising is great. But having a great diet is even better. So Rupy and I talked through the things you should and should not be eating.

When it comes to those paranthas, samosas and pakoras we all love, Rupy said we need to adapt our diet to our climate and lifestyle. Which means you definitely cannot eat these foods every day! But do not worry – she explains you should add this to your cheat meal. Once a week, have a cheat meal to treat yourself.

Some people eat roti (chapatti) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rupy explains that an average sized roti includes 20 grams of carbohydrates. A meal should include 30 grams of carbohydrates. So you should eat a maximum of two per meal.

Talking of Indian food, I wanted to know about the different powders and just what they mean for our bodies. Rupy talked through the following:

  • Turmeric = anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory so great for joints
  • Coriander = good for digestion and skin
  • Black Pepper = good for digestion and is a thermo-genic food which means it creates heat in your food so you end up burning calories while eating it
  • Cardamom = good for digestion and detoxifying
  • Cinnamon = good for blood insuli, and takes edge off sweet tooth

Rupy advised us to stay away from red dried powder but chilli flakes are fine. She also said eat everything in moderation rather than excess. Too much of a good thing is sometimes too much!

Diabetes is a big problem in the South Asian community so I wanted to know: where are the hidden sugars? Hidden sugars are in processed foods, ready-made meals, bread, sandwiches, and sauces such as salad dressings. Anything convenient will have a hidden sugar.

Obvious sugars are included in fizzy drinks, cakes, and biscuits – but people underestimate just how much sugar is in these.

If these exercises and dietary advice does not leave you feeling fit, healthy and with a beach body, and the children occupied, I don’t know what will! But Rupy did leave us with some of her key advice.

She urged people go to the gym and do compound exercises using a bar bell as this works more than one muscle. If you are at home, practise jump squats, jump lunges and press-ups. And if you can go outside, use the playground as a park and pick up a skipping rope.

When it comes to diet, learn to read food packages. She also left us with a great smoothie recipe:

  • Banana
  • Almond milk
  • Handful of oats

I hope this leaves you feeling happy and fit this summer!