By Nathaly Cruz
A new initiative is promoting a healthy and active lifestyle to local elementary school students in San Antonio.
Due to high rates of childhood obesity, IDEA Public Schools launched “Healthy Kids Here” to provide their students with healthy and active activities, increase access to nutritious foods and focus on health, wellness and nutrition education.
In 2015, IDEA began tracking Body Mass Index (BMI) across the district and has aimed to reduce BMI by 3 percent annually.
Currently, IDEA Monterrey Park is leading across the district and has seen an impressive 6 percent drop in BMI since October.
“One of the ways we have accomplished this is by offering physical education more than four times a week,” said Coach Brown.
Coach David, who teaches third and fourth grade, added, “The workouts consist of functional fitness and are based on movements that we do each day. Our goal is to be one of the healthiest and most physically fit schools in the nation.”
He also said that he has seen a drastic improvement with students since the start of the school year by presenting the workout course as a game.
“There are two teams that play against each other. We make it a game, and they think they are playing. We kind of mind trick them so that they are playing against each other. So, it kills two birds with one stone: they are exercising and they are playing at same time,” Coach David explained.
The circuit consists of eight different workouts that work every muscle group. 10-year-old Rebecca explained the importance of “Healthy Kids Here” and how this will help her in the future.
“This program helps us to stay fit and be more active. If you are healthy, you won’t get sick as much if you are not healthy, so you can have the energy to do the things you want to do instead of getting tired right away,” she said.
When she grows up she wants to become a police officer so that she can make the world a better place. “If I’m doing this, I won’t get tired of catching the bad guys,” Rebecca added. She also encourages other children to stay fit and eat healthy so they can achieve their goals in life.
Third-grader Avon also shared in his own words how the program works. “This program is about how to burn calories, get muscle and to train to be whatever you want to be,” he said.
His favorite workout is the ab-rolls because it makes him work hard. Avon, like his classmate, encourages other children to stay fit and eat healthy.
IDEA Public Schools is a growing network of tuition-free Pre-K to 12th grade public schools serving more than 30,000 students in 51 schools across Texas (San Antonio, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley).
For more information, please visit www.ideapublicschools.org.