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Paula Radcliffe on exercise for pregnancy and parenting

Exercise and family


Paula Radcliffe & Raphael © Pampers Little Athlete
Paula Radcliffe & Raphael © Pampers Little Athlete
You’ve got very active children. Do you encourage them?

They don’t need a huge amount of encouragement. They get there all by themselves.

It’s how kids learn, they get  active and play and learn through running around and chasing around and moving around.

Raphael loves climbing, he follows Isla around everywhere and anything she can do he thinks he can do too.

I like that it’s fun.

Do your children do structured sport activities too?

Isla goes to gymnastics once a week. That’s the only structured thing.

She asked me if she could go to gymnastics and I promised that as soon as I’d run my marathon that we’d go and get her enrolled and she’d go to gymnastics every week. After the marathon, I’d literally just crossed the line and I’d walked a few steps and she came running up to me “mummy, mummy, are we going to gymnastics now?”

She sometimes chooses to come along when I go to the stadium to do weights. It’s up to her if she comes with me or doesn’t. If she wants to she can run laps or do some of the exercises or sometimes she just plays around and jumps around in the sandpit.

She would like to join the athletics club but she has to be nine.

We just do more fun things. She’s out on her bike and her scooter every day.

Is it important to you that your children are sporty?

I want them both to do as much sport as they want to because I think it’s really important. I think it’s vital for kids.

By trying lots of sports they find the one sport that’s important to them. It’s proven that [if they do sports] they do better at school and work better as a team and learn more about themselves whatever level they take it to.

I’m really passionate about introducing and benefits of sports to as many youngsters as possible. Because I’ve got young children myself I know how important it is to be active and learn through activity and get the benefits of that.

Do you think it's important for children to play outside?

It’s important that they have the freedom to run around – no child likes to be cooped up. But play doesn’t have to be outside all the time.

Maggie Redshaw [Pampers' development expert] came up with ideas for playing at home. If the weather’s not with you, then use your imagination.

It doesn’t have to be a leisure centre but they do have play centres and inside areas where children can be safe and just run around and explore.

It’s about getting the mums active as well. Playing together is a really great way to bond.

The most fun parts of my day is when I come in after training and I’m doing my stretches and exercises and they’re joining in and climbing all over me and copying it’s a good way to be together and have fun.


Parenting Editor
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