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‘Tis the season for Reindeer Games and MORE!

Physical educators know and understand the need to get students active and engaged as soon as they enter the PE classroom. This collection of instant activities serves to help teachers get students moving quickly, while also providing meaningful learning tasks designed to work toward grade-level outcomes.

Each activity in this collection focuses on one standard and one strand of outcomes, typically fitness knowledge with an emphasis on nutrition. The activity plan has been simplified to keep instruction concise yet effective, planting seeds of awareness that will grow throughout the entire school year.

Childhood Physical Activity Declines Sooner than Previously Thought

Researchers examined 600 youths born from 2002 to 2004 and found that their total daily physical activity dropped by 75 minutes between ages 6 and 11, while their sedentary behavior rose by 107 minutes per day during the same period. The findings in Pediatrics also showed greater drops in light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity among boys, as well as reduced total physical activity levels and elevated sedentary behavior levels among those with higher body mass index z-scores and fat mass index.

Parents for Healthy Schools

Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning. Engaged parents help guide their children successfully through school, advocate for their children, and can help shape a healthy school environment. CDC has developed a set of resources called Parents for Healthy Schools to help schools and school groups (e.g., parent teacher associations (PTA), parent teacher organizations (PTO), school wellness committees) engage parents to create healthy school environments.

These resources will:

  • Educate parents about
    • School nutrition environment and services
    • School-based physical education and physical activity
    • Managing chronic health conditions in school settings
  • Provide parents with practical strategies and actions to improve the school health environment
  • Provide suggestions for ways to track progress in engaging parents in changing the school health environment.

Click here to access the Parents for Healthy Kids resources.

Halloween Health

Don’t let your health get tricked this Halloween! Here are a few ways to stay safe and healthy.

1. Get Moving

Carve out time to be active this Halloween – between get-togethers and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Take a walk and do some weight training to help you feel good!

Regular physical activity can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, improve mental health and mood, and increase your chance of living longer.

2. Eat Well

Don’t spend this Halloween filling up on junk food and sweets. Give yourself and your guests healthier choices and nutritious treats.

Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

3. Keep Your Bite Healthy

Keep Halloween candy at bay. Care for teeth the right way – brush with a fluoride toothpaste each and every day.

Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

4. Play it Safe

Take precautions to stay safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Watch out for cars, use reflective gear, walk with a group, and carry a flash light.

Check out CDC’s Injury Center for tips to stay safe at home, on the road, and at play.

5. Scare Away the Flu and Colds

Don’t get spooked by the flu. Wash your hands frequently and get a flu vaccine, too!

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones and learn about good health habitsthat can help stop germs.

6. Don’t Be a Zombie

Sleep is important– even on Halloween! Adults need 7-8 hours each night. It’s best for staying healthy and helping the disease fight!

Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Get the Family Outside

Fall is a great time to take the kids on a leaf exploration walk. Encourage them to point out all the colors and shapes they see!

Brief Exercise Breaks During Class Helps Bodies and Brains

Two-minute exercise breaks in the classroom may help school children meet physical activity goals without disrupting learning, new research suggests.

University of Michigan researchers say short bursts of in-classroom activity can trim childhood obesity rates while helping elementary schools provide 30 minutes of daily exercise for students.

“What we’re showing is that we can give kids an additional 16 minutes of health-enhancing physical activity,” said lead investigator Rebecca Hasson, an associate professor of kinesiology and nutritional sciences.

Children in the United States are supposed to get at least one hour of exercise each day, including 30 minutes of physical activity during school hours, the study authors explained. Most don’t reach this daily goal.

“Many kids don’t have PE (physical education) every day but they might have recess, and if they get 10 more minutes of activity there, it would meet that school requirement,” Hasson said in a university news release. “This doesn’t replace PE, it’s a supplement. We’re trying to create a culture of health throughout the entire school day, not just in the gym.”

Read more.

Take Your Parent to PE Week

Active Schools, a national movement to help schools provide at least 60 minutes a day of physical education and before, during and after school physical activity for all students, is sponsoring the second annual Take Your Parent to PE Week from September 24-28, 2018.

Register your school here. You’ll then have access to the free, downloadable Take Your Parent to PE Week logo, poster, and flyer.

By registering, your school may be selected for a college, Olympic, or professional athlete visit through Athletes for Hope (www.athletesforhope.org).

Click here for more information and tips on how your school can participate.

Are You Doing Recess Right? A New Tool Can Help

Despite the proven benefits, students probably aren’t getting the most out of recess, finds a new study that offers up a 17-point checklist to optimize the playground experience.

While there’s little doubt that children get exercise on the playground—recess accounts for up to 44 percent of their steps taken during the school day—schools often underestimate the social, emotional, and academic potential of playtime and fail to design recess to optimize those benefits.

To help educators understand what works on the playground—and what doesn’t—researchers visited nearly 500 elementary schools spanning 22 urban and metropolitan areas in the U.S. The researchers hoped to develop a tool that looked beyond simple questions of physical activity and playground equipment and toward a broader review of “safety, resources, student engagement, adult engagement, prosocial/antisocial behavior, and student empowerment on the playground.”

To learn more, including tips to maximize recess, read this article from Edutopia.

 

Best Nutrition, Health, and Fitness Apps for Kids

These health-focused apps, games, and sites give kids the straight dope on a host of essential and often taboo topics about bodies. They’ll be moving: practicing yoga, enhancing motor skills through teamwork, and analyzing sports techniques. Whether it’s in physical education (PE) and health class, or core content areas like science, students are sure to find the vital information they need to stay energized and active.

Get the list from Common Sense Media