According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence is important for promoting lifelong health and well-being and preventing various health conditions.” It is well known that children ages 6-17 should exercise at least an hour day. Unfortunately, only about 21.6% of kids ages 6-17 spend an hour participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity during at least 5 days a week. However, many kids within the Wilmington Friends lower school community and in sixth grade that do not play organized sports have luckily been able to find other creative ways to exercise.
In the lower school there are many ways to exercise; recess and snack breaks are when many lower schoolers find time to run around and get some exercise. At the lower school, there is are three playgrounds, a turf field, and two gyms. Although playing sports on the turf field and in the gym are popular, many other kids also have fun playing the typical recess games such as tag or hide-and-go-seek with their friends as well. Also, there are some ways that people can exercise without even realizing that it can be considered as such. Some examples of this include walking, dancing, cleaning, and even playing an instrument.
Outside of school there are other ways for the children of the lower school and sixth graders to get out and exercise. One example is Girls on the Run: girls in the lower school, grades 3-5, are able to meet every Wednesday throughout the fall and spring to run for an hour, culminating with participation in the organization’s annual 5K event. In the Middle School, sixth graders find recess as their main outlet as a good way to exercise.
“Everybody is different on what they enjoy. Any activity that gets you moving and elevates your heart rate, all the way from gardening, marathons, and pick-up basketball can help – it depends on what your body responds well to,” observed Mike Mckenzie, lower school P.E. teacher. “It is essential for establishing a healthy and active lifestyle as it helps them to gain knowledge how their body works. In some ways it prepares them for life; managing stress levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are important to your mind and how to grow as a person.”
There are countless ways to exercise and Wilmington Friends School has clearly succeeded in informing children on the importance of exercise and all of the ways they can reflect a healthy lifestyle. Although there are statistics showing why exercise is important and how only a low percentage of kids are fulfilling this necessity, the WFS lower school and sixth grade community has managed to remain healthy, in shape, and exercising.