After skiing today with some local middle school students and enjoying a day that was warmer than it has been for a while, I feel fortunate to have the position that encourages kids to be healthy. It’s fantastic to hear kids mention that it is their first time cross country skiing and they are trying something new. While living in the UP, it’s taken for granted that all people get out in the winter months and enjoy the trails and the outdoors. It seems like less children take the opportunity to learn a new sport or stay active in the winter months.
Along with the outdoor activities, our classroom visits consist of a health lesson then moves in to physical activity CATCH games. The structure of these classes are for two reasons, the health lesson sticks because it is a quick 10 – 15 minute talk then physical activity. It seems students enjoy our classroom visits because they know that it’s going to be fun and interactive. The learning portion is completely hidden!
The health promotion team at WUPHD all believe in planting a seed for health and fitness that hopefully will last a lifetime. Sometimes it is disheartening to see preschool aged students or elementary students that have troubles touching their toes, trying a new sport, working hard, and complaining about moving. That is the reasoning behind the role of health promotion and education so these attitudes can begin to change over time.
As a Health Educator, we have an important role to keep the people that are active motivated and the others to be encouraged to do ANYTHING that will get them physical. I preach to the kids I meet with about the ‘use it or lose it’ philosophy. Although, it’s difficult to figure out what will motivate people but sometimes that’s the interesting aspect to this job. It’s interesting to see what it will take to get people to adopt a life that is full of being healthy and active at least more than they are currently doing.