Stay Motivated!

We are halfway through the program and you are doing great so far! Sometimes we can lose motivation to stay active, but this is a great time to remember why we started the program and find new ways to motivate your child.

Sometimes it can help to think about reasons why we would do something, since this can motivate us and help us remember why it is important to us. For example, some things that are important to people are family, friends, fun, responsibility, kindness, knowledge, community, health, etc. What are some things that are important to you? How can you use those values to help you achieve your goals? For example, maybe your goal is to be active for 45 minutes each day and having fun or being with family and friends is really important you too – you can combine those. Maybe on one or two of the days you don’t feel motivated to be active you chose a fun activity or create a playlist with all of your favorite songs then listen do them during a workout/walk.

It can also be helpful to remember all the reasons you signed up for this program at the beginning! Staying active throughout the day (like your child taking breaks during their homework to get up and move) is so important for health. For kids, being active throughout the day can help them focus on classes /homework when classes are going on. For both adults and kids, when you are active you will likely help you feel more energized on a daily basis and will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the program.

Another great way to stay motivated is to use incentives. We talked about using incentives in the last newsletter{LINK TO LAST POST}. Maybe it’s time to think of some new incentives to help motivate your family to accomplish their goals. Next time your family is together, have a brainstorming session of things that can motivate them to accomplish their goals. You can even create a ‘menu’ or list of incentive ideas and select one each week to work toward. Some ideas may be getting to go to a new park, or spending extra time playing games as a family!

Family Activity Corner 

Make a list of your child’s favorite exercise activities. Based on your progress and what’s working well and not working well for your family, see how you all can challenge your child to improve their activity levels using these exercises or see how you can incorporate more of these exercises into your child’s exercise practice to keep them motivated and engaged. Take a moment to plan out when and where to complete these exercises for the upcoming weeks. The values worksheet might help you identify some personal reasons why it is important to do these.

You can try creating a sidewalk obstacle course like this one!

Don’t worry if you don’t have sidewalk chalk! You can always use some sheets of paper and a marker to draw out the course.

Brain Breaks

· Check out this video! Go to YouTube and search HTS Middle School Physical Education at Home or use this link

· You can also try this UNO workout. Grab a deck of UNO cards and pick a card. If you get a Yellow Card, do Jumping Jacks. If you get a Green Card, try some planks. If you get a Blue Card, do some push-ups. If you get a Red Card, do some lunges. If you get an Action Card, pick your favorite activity. Don’t worry if you don’t have UNO Cards, you can also use a regular deck of cards and pick an activity based off the color or numbers of that card.

· Here is another activity! Go to YouTube and search Physical Education at home – Paper Fitness or use this link COVID-19 Updates 

Visit the Stay Active Website for more information and resources

Contact us with any questions or concerns related to the Stay Active Program:


Achieving Your Goals!

In the last newsletter we talked about how to set good, healthy goals for you and your child and how to track those goals. How is tracking those goals going? Did you find a method that works for you and your child (on an app or using a paper version?).

Sometimes it can be challenging to meet goals and change health behaviors. To help support you while you help your child change behaviors and meet goals, we want to provide you with extra tools to help avoid common problems.

· Watch for patterns: Being able to track goal(s) is one skill set that can help show how often they are being met or if there is a pattern in the days that the goal is being missed. For example, maybe Mondays are really busy days and your child consistently misses their goal on this day. By tracking the goal, you and your child will be able to recognize this busy day and create strategies to overcome this challenge. Make sure track goals daily. You might need to help your child track their progress since this skill might be hard for them.

· Stay honest: Part of being successful is recognizing when things go wrong. That’s a normal part of life, and we can learn from the imperfect days if we’re willing to face up to them. It is very important to remain positive and to be honest about this. Adults, we need you to praise your kids for tracking and working towards their goals - celebrate successes and talk through challenges to meeting goals. Kids, you can praise and give high fives to the adults in your house too! Making healthy changes is hard for everyone but remember that you can do it together!

· Stay positive: It is easy to be critical when you see your child not meeting their goals, or not making healthy choices. In fact, research has shown that it is very difficult for parents not to focus on the negative behaviors they see their kids displaying. For your kids to make these very difficult changes, they will need you to encourage them, and for you to shift your focus to the positive changes they are making. Think of yourself as their coach, who is positive and encouraging.

· Create incentives: Incentives are the reward your child can earn for meeting their goals. You and your child should earn something when you trying to change behavior and make improvements in your health. After all, incentives work! They can help you avoid the temptation to blow off your goals. Not all incentives have to cost money. Some great examples of incentives for meeting goals are: special one-on-one quality time spent together, such as playing your child’s favorite game with them, maybe it could be the privilege of inviting their best friend over for a slumber party, a “get out of a chore” day, or staying up a little later on a Friday/Saturday night. What are some incentives that would motivate your child to meet their activity goals?

Adjusting Goals

Once goals are regularly tracked, you will see how often your child meets their goal(s). Encourage your child to meet their goal at least 4 days each week.

If they aren’t meeting goals: don’t panic or give up. Changing behaviors can take time. Have your child stick with the goal for 2 weeks and if they still cannot meet it, maybe consider lowering the goal a little so they can meet it at least 3 times a week when they try.

If they are meeting goals: If your child can easily meet their goal 4 or more days each week, then it’s time to make the goal more challenging! This can be done by making the goal bigger (if the goal was to exercise 20 minutes per day, create a new goal to exercise 30 minutes per day. Or if the goal was to perform 10 pushups, increase that to 20 pushups). Your child may not meet their goal the following week, and that’s ok, have them stick with it for another week or two! The ultimate goal of this program is to increase your child’s physical activity to support a healthier life!

Family Activity Corner 

It’s always fun to try new exercises or workout routines. A lot of workout routines are available online. YouTube has a great collection of workout routines with video demonstrations of how to do the exercises. You can try doing some of these with your child. It might be fun to exercise together and challenge each other. Just type in a type of workout you’re looking for on YouTube like “Frozen kids yoga”, “family cardio”, or even “family dance cardio” if you want to practice your moves! These can be a fun and engaging way to exercise and you can do it together!

You can also try to make a scavenger hunt with family and friends and see if you can find everything on your walk. Examples include: 10 yellow houses, 15 blue cars, a fire hydrant, or a flag.

Brain Breaks: Help your child practice getting up and moving by using the ideas below. These can be done together, or you can encourage your child to do them by themselves.

· Check out this video with your child during break time. Go to YouTube and search PE at Home: “Towel Fold Target” Challenge or go to this link

· Your child can also try this activity. Go to YouTube and search PE at Home-Active Tetris! or go to this link

· You can also do yoga together! Visit to help create yoga flows for your child to practice.

COVID-19 Updates 

Visit the Stay Active Website for more information and resources

Contact us with any questions or concerns related to the Stay Active Program:


Goal setting

At this point in the program, we hope you are feeling motivated to become/stay physically active! This week let’s talk about goal setting, which can help your child translate that motivation into action. The key to goal setting is to have SMART goals.

Specific. A good goal needs to be clearly defined so you know when it has been met. For example, a non-specific goal might be “I want to me more physically activity”, whereas a specific goal would be “I want to exercise 150 minutes each week” or “I want to take 7,000 steps each day this week.” Those goals are more specific because they state an amount of time to be active or steps to take.

Measurable. A good goal makes it easy to track progress that has been made. Going back to the earlier example, ‘being more active’ is not a measurable goal because ‘more active’ does not have a clear meaning. But if the goal is “to exercise 150 minutes each week” we can measure how many minutes we have exercised compared to the week-long goal.

Attainable. A good goal can be achieved. This keeps you and your child from setting unrealistic goals and from becoming discouraged when it is hard to meet them. If you are just starting out in an active lifestyle, it would be more attainable to say, “I want to walk 20 minutes per day” than to say “I want to run a marathon in three months”.

Relevant. A good goal takes you somewhere worth going. This is where your specific goal (“exercise 150 minutes this week”) connects to your bigger aim (“I want to be healthier”). You should fine tune your goal until you’re sure it will directly impact your overall aim of being healthier.

Time-bound. A good goal starts with a good timeline. During the goal setting process, it’s important to think about how long it might take to reach your goal. This should be a “deadline” that is strict enough to keep you focused and motivated without making it stressful.

Other Tips: Goals should have a significant and positive impact on health. Every person has their own personal strengths and weaknesses and we will help you to learn what (in terms of health behaviors) are your/your child’s areas of greatest weakness. If your child is a good at walking the dog for 20 minutes each day, setting a walking goal of 20 minutes may not have a significant impact on their health, because they are already doing this activity. On the other hand, if you set a goal with your child of doing 30 sit-ups per day, but at the same time you know that they then watch 4 hours of tv every night, setting the sit up goal is not likely to make a significant difference in the health of your child. We want to be sure that all of this hard work pays off for you and for your child–in terms of being healthier.

Please note: We encourage you to create physical activity goals each week. The Garmin sets step goals for your child to reach, but how can you help your child get those steps? Think about setting goals with your child that will encourage them to get their step goals, for example set an alarm as a reminder to get up and get moving or learn a new exercise together. We will also continue to send feedback on how your child is doing with meeting the Garmin step goal each week, but the Garmin created goals may be different than the goals you set together during the week.

Track your progress!

When you create goals, we would like you and your child to meet your goal at least 7 out of 10 times. This means the goal is still challenging, but it is still achievable on most days. How will you and your child know how often you reach that goal? By tracking your progress!

Track progress on achieving a goal in ways that:

1) Relate to the goal. If you are trying to get 150 minutes of physical activity each week, then track your activity in minutes. Or if your goal is to perform 10 pushups, you should track it by how many pushups you do.

2) You will see! If you place your method of tracking in somewhere you can see (if it’s an app putting it on your smart phone home page, or if it’s a paper copy putting it on the fridge) you are more likely to remember the goal and work to accomplish it!

3) You will use! Some smart phone apps or websites have a bunch of great features that allow you to track your activity, diet, sleep, etc. But if you rarely or never check that app or go to the website, then it will not be very helpful for you in accomplishing your goal. Make sure however you choose to track your activity is something you will use. Paper and pen may be old fashioned, but it’s also very easy to use!

Last week, we had your family track your activity levels on a worksheet. This week we are providing a similar tracking worksheet, but this time we encourage you to write you and your child’s goal(s) on the top and track how often you both are working toward that goal! Do you prefer to use a smart phone app to track your goals? Check out some of the ones below:

Strides: Allows you to track anything you want, has reminders to hold you accountable, & displays charts to keep you accountable

MyFitnessPal: Can be accessed by a smart phone app and website. It allows you to track exercise and diet goals and offers a community to share exercise and food diaries with.

Apple Health: this is preloaded onto iPhones and allows tracking of activity, sleep, mindfulness, and nutrition. This also shows stats at a glance and recommends an app from each category.

Goal Setting Worksheet
Download PDF • 105KB

Family Activity Corner 

We hope you and your child will focus on developing goals this week that motivate you to become more active and track those goals with the provided worksheets.

If you’re looking for other ways to be active with your child, this is a great time to be active outside and enjoy the fall weather! Did you know that common yard tasks, like raking up leaves, can count toward physical activity goals? There are many ways to take advantage of the outside weather and be physically active, like:

· Take your child on a jog to look at the colors of the changing fall leaves

· Take a family walk around a pumpkin patch

· Encourage your child to take in the nice Fall breeze with a bike ride or skate in your neighborhood or a local park

· Play a game outside like kickball or basketball

Brain Breaks: Help your child practice getting up and moving by using the ideas below. These can be done together, or you can encourage your child to do them by themselves.

· Have your child check out this PE at home video: Go to YouTube and search PE at Home: “4 Spot Exercise” Challenge or click this link

· Try this challenge with your child! Go to YouTube and search PE at Home: “Bop it” Challenge or click this link

COVID-19 Updates 

Visit the Stay Active Website for more information and resources

Contact us with any questions or concerns related to the Stay Active Program: