I joined the 5×50 Challenge! The 5×50 Challenge is in its second year of inspiring people to create a healthy habit of being more physically active.  The basic idea is that you spend 50 straight days doing something for about 5k or 30 minutes – walking, running, cycling, swimming, chasing children, whatever. You can join on your own or join a team for motivation, support and sharing the fun!  I’m part of a team called OstepathsDo.

The core reason to motivate people to be active is to improve their health and well being. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that healthy adults get 30 minutes of moderate exercise and that this can be broken down into up to three chunks of ten minutes with the same health benefits!  This is mirrored in the advice you get from the 5×50 Challenge.

This challenge is not just for ‘fitness fanatics’ – it is for everyone to learn to create the habit of having an active lifestyle.  I joined because I had a problem which got in the way of my exercise routines – I needed a bit of motivation to help switch back into my usual active self! My goal is to do 5k worth of exercise daily – but if I can’t that is OK – we’re allowed to catch up over the course of a week (or whatever is reasonable for your own fitness).

Does it sound like a lot of work? Are you too busy to exercise?  Think again! Getting this exercise doesn’t have to be hard – or time consuming -or necessarily take you away from your routine.

I’m a parent so I know how it can sometimes be tricky to fit in some really good vigorous exercise, often in part because a younger child isn’t always interested or up to doing it.  Right now it is school holiday time, so my usual preferred ways of getting exercise aren’t really on. My child can’t do the long cycle rides yet – and is too young for the climbing wall.  So some of my entries over this period are including things like ‘chasing around in the park on scooters’, ‘playing frisbee’, and adding up all the little extra walks we could fit it.  Where does a busy urban parent find these opportunities whilst ‘chasing children’ ?

  • Getting off a bus a stop early each way can give you 10 mins
  • Getting off the tube a stop early can give you more!
  • Taking the stairs at the station (kids like to count stairs, or practice times tables!)
  • Walking the long way to the shops, or going to a different set of shops further away
  • Joining in on the adventure playground (it is fun!!)
  • Taking steps instead of the lifts – our local station has 71 from entry to platform!

There are so many possibilities. You can read more about what others are doing on the 5×50 blog and you can follow posts on twitter by searching “#5×50”. You can find others in your area and join in with their activities too. 

Even if you didn’t sign up in time, like me – you can still join in the fun. My goal, in addition to completing the Challenge, is to do a little blog regularly that sums up my thoughts about the Challenge, what I’ve been doing, what Team OsteopathsDo have been up to, and to basically use it as an opportunity to help encourage the healthful habits of my patients and readers! That is, after all, part of what OsteopathsDo !