Running into a healthy lifestyle

First Posted: 4/17/2009

DOBSON Run for your life! Or walk. Just do something.
That was the point of Fridays Run For Your Life activity day for Surry County Schools sixth graders.
The students spent most of the day on Friday at Fisher River Park enjoying the sunshine, playing games and learning about teamwork as well as running or walking a 2.5K. The day was a reward for those students who completed monthly activity logs and turned them in to their gym teachers.
The school system has been having students complete the logs for about six years in an effort to raise awareness about and fight childhood obesity. Students were asked to participate in an after-school activity at least three days each week. It also emphasized healthy nutrition. The activities include a variety of options to accommodate every student, not necessarily just athletic programs.
Surry County was one of the first in the state to address the issue of childhood obesity and begin a program to raise awareness. Teachers hope that by starting the students out young with having a healthy lifestyle they will be able to continue those habits later in life as well as get their parents and siblings involved in having a healthy lifestyle.
It makes you more healthy, said McKenzie Danley from Central Middle School.
Students from the four county middle schools were divided into groups with students from other schools and participated in ice breaker activities to get to know one another. In addition to keeping the students active, it also allowed them to get to know their peers from other schools. Games such as Star Wars dodgeball were a crowd pleaser with the students, allowing them to work off some energy. They also enjoyed music provided by a DJ throughout the day.
It was awesome, said Damiqua Duncan from Meadowview Middle School of the day. More people should do it.
I like it, but its tiring, said Thomas Marsh from Pilot Mountain Middle School. It makes you exercise and get off your butt for once.
There was also a health expo set up with representatives from the Surry County American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the TRU anti-smoking campaign. Students could learn about CPR and what smoking does to lungs.
They also had the chance to spin a prize wheel and earn an exercise. They had to do push-ups, arm circles or run in place according to which number they landed on. One of the most popular exhibits was a Wii Fit where students worked on their balance by trying to hit soccer balls flying at their head in the game while avoiding cleats and panda bear heads. Students won prizes for the activities they completed such as miniature beach balls and inflatable footballs.
All four of the schools had between 93 and 95 percent of their sixth graders who were eligible to participate in the day of fun. Seventh and eighth graders who participated in the program will also have a day of fun for their efforts.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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