Written By Brandy Centolanza
We all know about the increase in obesity in this country, in particular childhood obesity, as well as the decrease in physical activity due to technology that could be contributing to the problem. Instead of talking about doing something to alleviate this important health concern, maybe we should actually do something about it. School divisions aren’t doing anybody any favors by cutting back on gym classes and recesses and assigning unnecessary homework right after school (at a time when families can and should be seeking ways to squeeze in fitness during their day), but our school district at least seems to be taking some initiative and encouraging exercise in other ways. My children’s elementary school hosts an annual Healthy Lifestyles week that includes a 5K run and Family Fun run along the school’s nature trail. Additionally, a second grade teacher at the school has incorporated stability balls into her classroom, which allows for students to complete classroom assignments at their desks while balancing on the balls instead of using chairs. (My son has also told me that he can occasionally use a stability ball in his fourth grade class if he so wishes). More business owners should take a cue from this and encourage such exercise equipment usage at the office, or urge employees to take a walk during their lunch break so that they aren’t remaining stationery all day long. Businesses should also promote after-work fitness activities, like the Dog Street Pub Running Club, a local group that meets weekly on Monday evenings for a free 5K run or walk with your family or Fido. It is easier to take the steps to get in shape when you have a support system, whether it be a running partner or a teacher, boss or friend cheering you on. In that respect, I am looking for folks interested in walking, hiking, or biking during the week. If you are interested, drop me an email. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let’s get fit together.