Friday, July 24, 2015

Kid on the Run

I was at the convenience store near the school my son attends the other day, and right behind me was the vice principal. We struck up a conversation about my son, and I was very warmed that he knew my kindergartner, and that he helped out with the running club that takes place in gym class. The gym teacher and the vice-principal encourage my son to get those laps in – he’s not very enthusiastic about physical activity if there is no game or chasing as a part of the activity. It’s important for gym classes to keep the kids active instead of conducting lesson plans with the kids being inactive, which is why I was excited to learn about this running club.

Starting at age six, children and adolescents should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Studies have shown that active kids learn better.

To help kids get enough activity, experts recommend that elementary schools provide 150 minutes of physical education each week, and secondary schools provide 225 minutes per week.  Although our state laws do not meet those guidelines for physical education, a lot of schools may meet and exceed the guidelines on their own. Many schools do great things before, during and after school – as well as in physical education class – to get kids active. Recess before lunch; incorporating physical activity into lesson plans throughout the day; and Safe Routes to School are a few popular ways to help kids get their hour of activity each day. SHAPE America has developed model standards for physical education at each grade level, and Washington is rewriting its standards to help teachers and administrators make it easier for students to meet their activity recommendations.

That’s a lot to keep track of when I’m trying to make sure my son kindergarten graduate gets enough activity. We’re not quite into the 6-17 category covered by 60 minutes-a-day national recommendations, but this summer we will officially be in that category! We better get moving…

For more information:
·         Let’s Move Active Schools
·         Active Living Research
  Office of Superintendent of Public Schools Health and Fitness page