We hear it all the time that we should eat well and exercise, but is that enough? Our health should be a main focus and schools should be buying into that program as well.
Yesterday, the main focus in the Daily Herald, Section 6 was an article by Richard A. Lovett entitled Get up and get movin’. In it Lovett spoke about researchers studying spontaneous movement and getting up and moving. Those that sit around for six or more hours a day have a 34% higher mortality rate for women and 17% for men. Those numbers could increase further if we now take into consideration that kids are not getting outside to play, but watch a whole lot of television and play video or online games which keeps them sedimentary. Many children are considered obese!
This concept could possibly begin with school children. Could there potentially be a link with poor eating, sitting around and ADHD? One has to wonder; especially since some schools tend to believe that when funding is cut, so should classes like gym be cut!
In order to avoid issues in her classroom, one particular first grade teacher, Mrs. Cindy Blair, at Emerson Elementary in Wheaton, Illinois has taken action. For every few periods of study, Mrs. Blair takes her students into the Multi-Purpose Room and does some simple Yoga exercises to clear the mind and body. This, in conjunction with Gym with Mrs. Wagner and lunch hour, allows those children to get up and move around thus helping them concentrate and not put on massive amounts of weight.
School District 200 is also in the game. They have recently revised their Wellness Policy 6.50 to encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity. Part of this policy is to work with the food providers to ensure a well-balanced diet. This is tremendous because a few years ago, the ‘free lunch’ program provided crap for children; a meal consistent of a bagel, a granola bar and an apple. For many children in the ‘free lunch’ program, this was certainly not enough to keep their brain moving and if the children did have ADHD, two of the three food selections consisted mostly of carbs and sugars. This was not helpful in any sense of the word.
Parents need to speak out; to get involved. Our children’s futures depend on our involvement. Go to school board meetings, go to Curriculum Night, and speak to teachers other than on Parent-Teacher Conference Night. Remember the old adage that ‘It Takes a Village?’ Well, it does and the sooner you get involved, the better off your children will be!