Sunday, 8 February 2015

Why Exercise Makes You Happy

Day 9   #28daysofwriting

Hitting the news recently, was N.Zs high ranking in a OECD global report, showing kiwis are amongst the most obese people in the world.  Up to a third of kiwi boys and girls are indicated to be obese.  The research was conducted by an international consortium of researchers and Associate Professor Tony Merriman of Otago’s Biochemistry was a member of the study consortium.  

You don't have to be a scientist to understand the link between obesity and poor health. As teachers we experience first hand the impact that poor health has on student's learning.  We have all had children who struggle to participate in P.E and fitness programmes.  There are the kids who despite our best efforts to personalise learning have issues with lethargy and engagement.  

So what are N.Z schools doing to encourage good health in our kids?  

We are doing plenty, here are just a few ideas:
  • encouraging healthy food choices for school lunch-boxes
  • sharing healthy recipes 
  • providing nutritious breakfasts
  • having fruit breaks
  • daily fitness
  • school sports
  • promoting good health through curriculum.

I love the notion that exercise helps to make you happy and my personal experience is that it does. Have you heard of a runners high? I can't honestly say I've ever felt truly happy whilst running but I love the finish line and the feeling that lingers afterwards.

Endorphins (natures wee natural painkiller) have been shown in some studies to reduce stress and promote happiness.  They exist to help us manage pain hence the saying ... 

Here is a link to a kids health website with loads of great informations and ideas to promote good health.

So what are you doing to get your kids active?  An idea we are trying is giving kids the options of running bootcamps and fitness sessions.  They do the research, plan the lesson and away they go.  Another idea is to run a gym style timetable so students can opt into a range of cardio, stretching and strength based sessions.  The feedback has been positive so far.  Fitness has come a long way from whole school runs around the back paddock and aerobics on the tennis courts!  

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