Greetings from the PE/Health Department
In nearly every newspaper, magazine and newscast, there is yet another report on the prevalence of childhood obesity. What needs to happen to solve the obesity crisis is clear. To maintain a healthy weight people need to balance their diet with their activity level. People who are overweight need to consume fewer calories than they burn. They can do this by eating less, becoming more active or, ideally, a combination of both. For most people, it’s that simple. But how do we make this happen within the largely unsupportive environment of today’s society? We need to work together to deliver consistent nutritional messages and provide our children with more opportunities to be active.
Today’s physical activity recommendations call for children ages 5–12 to accumulate 30–60 minutes of age appropriate and developmentally appropriate physical activity from a variety of activities on all or most days of the week. An accumulation of 60 minutes to several hours per day of age and developmentally appropriate activity is encouraged. Adolescents should be physically active daily or nearly every day and engage in three or more session per week of activities that last 20 minutes or more at a time and that require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion.
However, on average, young people aged 2–18 spend over 4 hours a day watching television or videotapes, playing video games, or using the computer. So what can be done? We need to promote habitual physical activity and good eating from birth. We need to find ways to increase our children’s daily physical activity and balance or, if already overweight, decrease caloric intake. To do this, we must find ways to address all behaviors that can positively or negatively impact these two related goals throughout the child’s day: a day that begins when they wake up and ends at bedtime.
Please join with us in the effort to keep your child as healthy as possible. Encourage your child to be physically active. One of the best ways to do this is to lead by example. Exercising with your child is also a great way to stay connected with them. Look for family activity calendars on the back of the monthly lunch menus, seek out websites and educational opportunities for ideas on how to eat healthy and stay active.
Together we can work toward a healthier future.
Patty Cournoyer, PE/Health - Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
Bonnie Ambruso, PE - Lyme Consolidated School
Paul Murphy and Mary Beth Schreindorfer, PE - Mile Creek School
Erin Crayton and Tim Gavin, PE - Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
Philip Cohen and William Rayder, PE/Health - Lyme-Old Lyme High School
Coordinated School Health Council
The Coordinated School Health Council (CSHC) is a group of individuals connected to the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools who are concerned about the health and well-being of the school district and community of Lyme-Old Lyme. The CSHC members include teachers, nurses, parents, students, administrators and local health professionals. The goals of the Coordinated School Health Council are to improve the overall health of the school, including students, staff and the overall climate of the buildings.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, the Coordinated School Health Council aims to connect existing programs with additional resources for a comprehensive approach to health issues.
Please contact Patty Cournoyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ellen Maus (email@example.com) to become involved with the CSHC.