It’s been half term holiday for us this week and at the start of it I suddenly decided to set myself and the children a challenge. Shockingly, excluding activities which are done during school lessons, only 22% of children age 5 to 15 meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity and the proportion that meet them decreases with age. Boys are more active than girls, particularly in the age 13-15 age group. (Health Survey for England 2015). Despite wanting to give my school-weary kids a break, I set us the target of making sure that we were active and beat the recommended guidelines for physical activity for children every single day.
You can read the challenge setting blog here.
So how have we done and did anyone join us in our challenge?
Here’s a quick reminder of what the targets are:
It’s important to remember that these are the minimum we should try to achieve every day and it’s best to spread activity out through the day.
First up I need to say THANK YOU! So many people have joined in the #activehalfterm challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too. I have absolutely loved seeing all your photos and reading your reports about what you have been up to. I have suddenly found myself managing a social media campaign on top of all the other things I’m trying to fit into the week!
I’ve been making a list of the activities that everyone joining in the challenge has been up to. Here’s a word cloud to show them:
I know that for some people half term is next week so this will give you some ideas. I’ll carry on sharing your photos and activities so do keep them coming!
We’ve managed to beat the 60 active minutes everyday. We’ve succeeded in reducing ‘lounging time’, just being busy has helped to minimise screen time. Lots of the activities we’ve done such as climbing and gymnastics have ticked the bone and muscle strengthening box too.
So all in all, it’s a big success and it really isn’t that hard to do, if you can just make sure you plan one activity for one hour everyday then you can add in extras here and there. Once you get the kids out then one hour isn’t hard and they generally want to stay out for longer. The weather has been a challenge but we’ve been creative at home and had a lot of fun too.
I know when they’re back at school they’ll have some structured PE lessons and my primary school daughter will be active in the playground at break times. The out-of-school sports activities will start up again too. Children are more sedentary at weekends than they are during the school week and that’s a reminder to me that as parents we have a responsibility to make sure we carry exercise into the weekend. But more than that, I want to show my children that exercise is FUN and something we can all enjoy together.
Keep up your #activehalfterm everyone and thank you so much for your enthusiasm and sportsmanship!