Last night as I was accompanying my ten year old on her night of Trick or Treating, I had a thought I had never had before. Halloween is a great exercise! I watched as a gaggle of twelve kids not only walked the length of our 1km street, they ran full speed from door to door. Perhaps the creators of the beep test which measures the relative fitness of kids by testing them in wind sprint, flexibility and other exercise need to find the right motivation. Candy may be the answer. Candy seems to motivate even the most inactive child to sprint from door to door. Of course, the motivator may defeat the purpose of the exercise but that's just details.
My son, at thirteen, was enjoying his last Halloween. He was determined to strategically cover every inch of the neighbourhood in the hours between 6:00 and 8.30 pm. To trick or treat any later than that is bad form and to go any earlier is to trick or treat with the preschoolers. He wore only a t-shirt and his ghoulish cape and when he arrived home at 8:15 pm he was drenched in sweat. Talk about a workout, covering a 1km area carrying an ever increasing load is hard work!
Many parents lament at the sheer volume of junk that arrives home Halloween night. I have heard many strategies for managing the potential sugar load and damage to young teeth. I give my kids five days to eat their candy after dinner. On the fifth day I take their candy and leave them ten bucks. When they were little they would forget about the candy in a few days, now it costs me to save on dental bills! Best not to think about how we are buying costumes for this artificial holiday, how we then buy candy for other kids, and then we need to buy the candy back from our own kids. Something seems slightly odd about this holiday. Happy Halloween!