exercise

‘Let’s Move’ moves to schools

 

Michelle Obama is looking to boost exercise programs in schools

Associated Press

Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks.

Some schools are using both methods of instruction, and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise.

In Chicago last week, the first lady announced a new public-private partnership to help schools do just that. “Let’s Move Active Schools” starts with a website, www.letsmoveschools.org , where school officials and others can sign up to get started.

Obama said too many penny-pinched schools have either cut spending on physical education or eliminated it outright to put the money toward classroom instruction. But the first lady, who starts most days with a workout — and other advocates of helping today’s largely sedentary kids move — say that’s a false choice, since studies that show exercise helps youngsters focus and do well in school.

The effort is one of the newest parts of the first lady’s 3-year-old campaign against childhood obesity, known as “Let’s Move.”

Research shows that daily exercise has a positive influence on academic performance, but kids spend too much time sitting, mostly in school but also outside the classroom watching TV, playing video games or surfing the Internet. Federal guidelines recommend that children ages 6-17 get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, which can be racked up through multiple spurts of activity throughout the day.

The White House says the most current data, from 2007, shows that just 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools provided daily physical education.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he’s proof of the link between exercise and academic performance. As a boy, he said, he had a hard time sitting still in class but exercise helped him focus.

“What’s true for me is true for many of our nation’s children,” he said in an interview.

Duncan, who played basketball professionally in Australia, said the choice is not between physical activity or academics, especially with about one-third of U.S. kids either overweight or obese and at higher risk for life-threatening illnesses like heart disease or diabetes.

“It’s got to be both,” he said. Duncan cited the examples of students learning the alphabet while dancing or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks.

Under the new initiative, modest grants will be available from the Education Department to help some programs get started. The GENYOUth Foundation and ChildObesity180 also will be awarding grants.

Nike has committed $50 million to the effort over the next five years; the remaining groups together have pledged more than $20 million.

–––

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Bhindi masala: </span>Fried okra in a flavorful spice paste is a surefire way to fall in love with the misunderstood vegetable.

    YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

    No slime: Indian dish brings out the best of okra

    I am glad that no one ever forced stewed okra on me during my childhood, because the stories I’ve heard from stewed-okra veterans have been traumatizing. Friends and colleagues have described memories of okra that was sulfurous and slimy and yet left a cottony feeling on their tongues and gums. (This is no coincidence: The okra plant is related to the cotton plant.)

  •  
Khuly

    Pets

    Cats can pick up virus at vet’s, but they can also transmit it themselves

    Q: Our cats had to go to the vet hospital last week to have their teeth cleaned. The procedures went very well and, as predicted, both were back to normal that evening. Unfortunately, two days later they both started sneezing. First Patches and then Stumpy came down with the exact same cold. Patches got better but we had to take Stumpy back to the hospital. We actually had to pay more for his cold than for the teeth cleaning! Shouldn’t the vet have gone easy on us since our cats live safely indoors and they obviously caught the cold there?

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Layered Tomato-Watermelon Salad</span>

    Cooking

    7 new ways to build a 7-layer salad

    From fruits to pastas, novel ideas to liven it up the next time you layer it on.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category