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5 Ways Teachers Can Improve the Health of Their Classrooms

By Tanisha Williams

As children succumb to the obesity epidemic, schools are turning to all teachers— not just physical education teachers—to instruct and encourage students to develop healthier lifestyles.

Although obesity amongst children has become a national concern, more and more schools are being forced to scale back or cut physical education classes to focus on academia. According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, currently 16% of our nation’s children are overweight; this is a result of poor nutritional habits and lack of physical activity.

Below are five activities that combine academics with health, fitness and a nutritious curriculum that you can begin using in the classroom. Say that five times fast!


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How to Have a Healthier Labor Day Picnic

Picnics, especially on a work-free holiday such as Labor Day, are great fun. Hanging out with family and friends, spending time together, enjoying one last day of summer before the reality of school and sports: what’s not to love?

Sadly, many traditional picnic options are unkind to your diet and do nothing to support a healthier lifestyle. Why not try some of these tricks to help you throw a figure-friendly picnic this weekend?

  • Instead of grilling red meat or hot dogs, try chicken breast or pork tenderloin. There are some great marinades available, and both of these lean choices cook up well. Prepare extra for the coming week to make dinner time a cinch.
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3 Ways to Squeeze in Summer Exercise

For school kids and teachers, it may seem like there is so much more time in the summer months, making it a perfect time to introduce a new habit (like daily physical activity) into your schedule. Yet, the summer months seem to fill up quickly with vacations, festivals, cookouts, events, and trips.

This weekend in Indianapolis, there wasn’t any way for me to physically make all the great community events. Beautiful weather entices us to spend time outdoors, but are we getting enough activity to keep us on track with our weight loss goals and balance the extra calories we encounter at festivals, cookouts, and summer drinks? Here are three ways you can squeeze exercise into your summer schedule:


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EA Sports Active – On Tour

ea sports activeWe recently had the pleasure of joining EA for their Sports Active media event in New York City. The event started with a demo of the EA Sports Active game/workout product. Following the demo they allowed attendees to play the units and experience the workout intensity. The workouts require the use of an occasional resistance band and the leg strap for the Wii controller, which are included with purchase. If you have purchased the Wii Fit, you can also use your balance board for a number of the workouts. The balance board, although, is not required for any of the EA Sports Active workouts.
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Burning Calories is Child’s Play

Do you ever envy your children’s endless energy to run, jump, skip and play? As the spring weather starts to warm, take advantage of all the calorie-burning ability of their favorite games. You’ll get some quality playtime with the kids, reminisce about your own childhood, and burn some extra calories.

hopscotchJumping Rope = 150 calories/15 minutes of moderate intensity.

Hopscotch = 75 calories/15 minutes

Roller Skating = 209 calories/30 minutes

Dancing = 135 calories/30 minutes

Playing Catch = 75 calories/30 minutes

Jumping Jacks = 120 calories/15 minutes

Riding Bikes = 239 calories/30 minutes of moderate intensity, about 12 mph.

Hula Hooping = 100 calories/10 minutes

Flag Football = 239 calories/30 minutes

Frisbee = 90 calories/30 minutes

Don’t miss an opportunity to join a dodgeball game, hide-and-seek, or chasing the dog around the yard. The calories burned add up to lost weight and gaining some fresh air!