Change starts with just one step.
All kindergarten through eighth-graders in public schools in Robeson County were encouraged to participate in the International Walk to School event on Thursday, Oct. 4, during which millions of children all over the world walked to school. This event encourages physical activity and teaches children to walk safely to school. For most of the Robeson County schools, it is a Walk at School event utilizing open areas around the school, gym or an established walking trail at school so everyone gets a chance to participate.
Representatives from Project H.E.A.L.T.H. — Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Tomorrow’s Health — a program of SRMC’s Community Health Services department, SRMC Mascot “Rocky the Bear,” Biggs Park Mall owner Kenny Biggs, and Manager Chelsea Biggs, joined students, parents, family and friends for the Tanglewood Elementary School Walk to School event, which began in the mall parking lot. Six hundred bottles of water were provided by SRMC’s Community Health Education Centerand Biggs Park Mall to help foster healthy behaviors.
Project H.E.A.L.T.H. then moved on to the Peterson Elementary School event, where more than 625 students and staff assembled for their Walk to School event, which included music and fun physical activity.
Currently, Project H.E.A.L.T.H. partners with several Robeson County elementary schools, including Peterson Elementary and West Lumberton, to provide nutrition education and encourage physical activity through the development of on-site school walking trails. Using the new MyPlate model, as well as food models, worksheets, and fun and interactive nutrition games, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of healthy food choices.
For families, simple daily activities like walking, riding a bicycle, jumping rope, dancing or any other fun activity that gets everyone moving along with healthy food choices adds up to a healthy lifestyle. One of the biggest culprits that may contribute to weight gain is drinking sugary beverages that can contain up to 19 teaspoons of sugar for one 20-ounce soft drink. Today, the average person eats more than 130 pounds of sugar per year since sugar can be found in almost all food products.
By being physically active daily and choosing healthier foods, including fresh fruit, whole grains, and drinking water, students can work toward getting in shape for the Lumberton Chevrolet Chevy to the Levee event scheduled for Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Luther Britt Park in Lumberton. Registration for the free SRMC Family Fun Mile will be held from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Make sure to check out SRMC Green Team’s Healthy Snack booth and other activitie.s including a 5K walk/run, 50K (31-mile) bicycle ride, kids zone, inflatables, boats and food.
For more information about the Chevy to the Levee, logon to www.robesonroadrunners.com. For information about SRMC, logon to www.srmc.org.
Diane Zepaltas is the program coordinator and community dietitian for Project H.E.A.L.T.H., a program of SRMC’s Community Health Services department.