Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fuel Up to Play for 60

I love the Governor Branstad’s push for Iowa to be the healthiest state.  Especially in the face of fewer recess and gym class hours for school kids.  

They held a Fuel Up To Play 60 assembly at a middle school in the metro this week.  I was shocked when I found out that one brave 4th grader spoke at the assembly saying he was working to lose weight and eat healthy.  I wouldn’t have dreamed of admitting to 4th graders I was overweight when I was that age.  Actually… I wouldn’t admit to 4th graders that I am overweight TODAY! They’re mean! 

If you don’t know what Fuel Up to Play 60 is, it’s a program supported by Michelle Obama that lets students decide how to make their school a healthier place.  They let students come up with the ideas and challenges students to earn prizes for the work they do.  

It’s a commitment to healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity every day…  


60 minutes?  How many of us get 45 minutes 5 days a week and think we’re total gym rats. 
This is a wake-up call to me.  If we’re asking our kids to get 60 minutes of activity, why are we short changing ourselves? 

Now they’re not asking these kids to do 60 minute intense cardio training for 7 days a week… that’s actually frowned upon.  Our bodies need time to recover.  But a recovery day or two can easily include a walk at a park, or a bike ride on some of Des Moines’ awesome trails.  


Honestly, when I was just writing that, I was trying to think of things adults do to “play”.   Kids fly kites, play on playgrounds, build sand castles, play in the pool, go sledding… When I was a kid, it was almost expected that I would go out every summer night and run around and play some version of tag in the dark.  But now a night of “play” is ordering Chinese and watching a movie.  

I challenge you (and myself) to really consider 60 minutes of “play” every day.  Get outside, clean the house, heck… fly a kite! Play on a playground! Who says those things are for kids.  Spend less time on Facebook and more time dancing.  Spend more time chatting with your friends on the path around Gray’s lake and less time in front of the Real Housewives of wherever.  

I’m ready to play.  Who’s in?


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