Move & Reflect – Explore the Benefits of Exercise – FREE

Put exercise to the test in this fun downloadable activity for Mental Health Awareness Week. This year's theme is all about how physical activity impacts our wellbeing, so we want your children to become expert researchers! This free downloadable resource invites children to explore the positive effects of exercise on mood, energy levels, and overall mental health.

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Resource Info

Get Moving for Mental Health Awareness Week!

Lace up those trainers and get moving for Mental Health Awareness Week! This year, the theme is "Move More for Mental Health," highlighting the powerful connection between physical activity and emotional well-being. This free downloadable resource invites children to explore the positive effects of exercise on mood, energy levels, and overall mental health.

Activity Overview:

This Move & Reflect activity encourages children to engage in physical exercise and then reflect on the impact it has on various aspects of their well-being. By jotting down their observations after exercise, participants gain insight into how movement can positively influence their mood, heart rate, energy levels, and more.

Key Components:

  1. Observation Sheet: The activity provides participants with an observation sheet where they can record their thoughts and feelings before and after engaging in physical activity. This sheet serves as a valuable tool for self-reflection and awareness.
  2. Physical Exercise: Children can engage in any form of physical exercise that they enjoy, whether it's playing sports, going for a walk, dancing, or practicing yoga. The goal is to get their bodies moving and their hearts pumping!
  3. Reflection Questions: After completing their exercise, participants are prompted to reflect on how they feel mentally, emotionally, and physically. They can consider changes in their mood, energy levels, stress levels, and overall sense of well-being.

How to use:

Whether it's part of a PE session, a classroom lesson or some fun at the park or in the garden, we want your children to understand and notice the amazing benefits of being active. Did you know that children age 5-18 should get 60 minutes of physical activity per day?

  1. Introduce the task - Introduce the worksheet to your children and tell them that they are going to act as a scientist and put exercise to the test!
  2. Jot down your before observations - Ask children to spend a few minutes thinking about how they feel in themselves and fill in the left side of the watch face. Grab a stopwatch and record those heart rates too!
  3. Get moving! - Complete your chosen physical activity, encouraging children to focus on the sensations and movements of their bodies and enjoy the benefits of movement.
  4. Observe and reflect -  Immediately after exercise, encourage children to notice and observe the changes in their bodies, record their heart rates, and fill in the right side of the watch face.
  5. Discuss - Discuss your findings! What did your children notice about the impacts of exercise?

Why It Matters:

Physical activity has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health, including reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting self-esteem. By encouraging children to engage in regular exercise and reflect on its effects, we empower them to prioritise their well-being and take proactive steps towards better physical and mental health.

Download this activity now and put exercise to the test. Don't forget to share your findings with us on social media!