As part of a great program called Exercise US, children from coast to coast will be creating a continuous wave of exercise for ten consecutive hours today.
Today marks the fourth annual Exercise US Day. At 8 AM (EST) schools in New Jersey kicked off the event by having the children exercise from 8:00-8:15. Once their time slot was over, schools in New York picked up the next fifteen minute slot. This pattern will be going on for ten hours today until the kids on the pacific coast finish up at 3:00 PM (PST).
This impressive wave of youth exercise was started by Len Saunders. Saunders is a physical education teacher in New Jersey and has had a long-time passion for seeing kids get healthy and fit. He is also the author of Keeping Kids Fit.
Saunders has been impacted deeply by the increasing epidemic of childhood obesity. He said,”this could be the first generation of children whose life expectancy may be shorter than their parents. With the rise is type 2 diabetes and other health-related diseases associated with obesity, children need motivational techniques that get them to exercise.”
Today’s event is just one of the ways Saunders attempts to motivate youth to get moving. “The Exercise US program is designed to motivate children to stay fit, and make exercise fun.” (more…)
By Len Saunders, MA
Children may be away from school and locked into summer mode, but July and August may be a great time to teach them about proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle through the USDA’s MyPlate.
As informative as the old MyPyramid used to be, quite honestly, it made nutrition a task to understand for most children. From their point of view, what does a pyramid have to do with food or nutrition? MyPlate does put it into perspective for kids at a level they can understand. They look at the plate, and see the food groups laid out for them in a form of a pie chart, distributing the percentages of the foods needed daily. For children, sometimes simple and basic is more effective to get a message across to prepare them for a healthy future.
Most kids spend hours every day immersed in technology, online in chat rooms or playing games on gaming systems. This lack of exercise has had a negative affect on the health of our children, with obesity rates higher than ever and with the current generation projected to be the first to die younger than their parents.
Children’s fitness innovator Len Saunders has been working with children for close to 30 years, trying to fight childhood obesity. He has hosted the Project ACES event, where millions of children exercise simultaneously the first Wednesday in May.
Now, Saunders has a new, younger goal in mind: the preschool to third grade set. He has written a new book series called An Adventure in Exercise, starring Joey the Kangaroo and Spunky the Monkey. The children can read and interact with the books while they have fun exercising with each page. This one-of-a-kind book has garnered much praise from teachers and parents alike. Children enjoy the kid friendly illustrations, and the rhyming appeals to children of all ages. (more…)