Norwich bootcamp fights the flab in the summer holidays

If you think your kids are turning into couch potatoes a new fitness scheme in Norwich could help put back the spring in their step over the summer holidays. Emma Harrowing finds out more.

The long summer holidays will soon be here and with them comes the annual battle with your kids to beat boredom, limit the use of computer games and attempt to get them out in the air for essential daily exercise.

Now a new fitness initiative aims to solve all these problems parents face during the six-week break.

ATP Health and Fitness in Norwich are running child and parent summer bootcamp exercise classes on the recreation ground in Hellesdon, just off Middletons Lane. The bootcamps not only aim to help children keep active during the holidays. but can also have many other benefits to family life.

'I think it is very important for kids to keep active in the summer holidays as it can be so easy to become a couch potato,' says ATP fitness trainer Matt Philpot who is running the bootcamp sessions.

'I remember when I was child I would get bored very easily being stuck indoors. Keeping active gives you a great sense of wellbeing and improves your energy levels and bootcamp gives you the opportunity to burn hundreds of calories while socialising with like-minded families. It's a great activity that will bring families closer together.'

Matt currently runs adult fitness classes and bootcamp exercise sessions in Norwich and he runs an after-school fitness club for children at Firside school in Hellesdon. The family bootcamps combine the two – fitness classes that are suitable for adults and children over seven.

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A typical bootcamp session includes a variety of bodyweight exercises and shuttle runs with bean bag based exercises for children to do if they are too young for some of the workouts.

'Every week the sessions will become more challenging,' says Matt. 'The exercises combine aerobic and muscular endurance workouts which will improve fitness and wellbeing.'

Having been in the armed forces for eight years Matt is in his element running bootcamps to help families get fit and active. There is certainly an air of discipline about the sessions as Matt promises that families will be pushed to their limits and will be exercise outside in all weather conditions.

'I'm not really a sergeant major type trainer as I will only shout at people in the sessions if I feel they are being lazy,' says Matt. 'As long as everyone tries the best they can then that is all I can ask.

'The sessions are all about encouraging each other and to have as much fun as possible, but at the same time pushing people to their own limits so they achieve great results.

'With obesity levels on the rise due to bad eating habits and decreasing activity levels, bootcamp is a good way to ensure that you and your family improve your fitness levels and your health together.'

The Child and Parent Summer Bootcamp exercise classes run on five consecutive Fridays from August 3 from 9.30am until 10.30am. Sessions are held at the Hellesdon recreation ground next to the Hellesdon Community Centre just off Middletons Lane. Children must be over seven and be accompanied by an adult. For more information visit or call Matt Philpot on 07785 105381.