Saturday, November 03, 2007

Walk Across Illinois!

If you were on campus on Wednesday afternoon and noticed a bunch of kids (ok, 200+ kids) walking and chanting...that was my daughter's school. We kicked off our Walk Across Illinois program by walking from school to the quad and back (about 2 1/2 miles). By May, each kid will, hopefully, walk the equivalent of about 170 miles (or from Champaign to Chicago!). In addition to walking on their own, we have mapped out a 1/2 mile course behind the school for before and after school, recess, and PE. Students are encouraged to walk with their families and friends.

Hopefully, this will breed the love of exercise for the kids that will last a lifetime!

We found the kids love walking and it was easy to do. They were amazed how far they could walk in a short amount of time. Having police escorts and clapping fans at the University helped out as well.

With video games, numerous TV channels with kids' programming, computers, weather, working parents, unsafe neighborhoods, elimination of PE don't play outside as much as they used to and they don't get enough exercise...most of us don't. With fast and junk food so easily available (not to mention it was just Halloween and the cookie-filled holidays are almost here)...the number overweight and obese kids is increasing at alarming rates.

So...start a walking program with your family...or school...or church...or friends. Just take a walk after dinner a couple times a week! It will start a habit that is addictive and necessary to maintain good health!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In 1971 only 4% of 6-to-11-year-old kids were obese; by 2004, the figure had leaped to 18.8%. In the same period, the number rose from 6.1% to 17.4% in the 12-to-19-year-old group, and from 5% to 13.9% among kid’s ageing between 2 to 5. Include all overweight kids, and a whopping 32% of all American children now carry more pounds than they should.