Health A daily walk or jog at school proven to make children fitter and healthier

05:11  15 may  2018
05:11  15 may  2018 Source:   9coach.com.au

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University researchers have compared the health of children at a primary school which takes part in the scheme with those at a school which does not. Image caption The research suggests doing the Daily Mile makes pupils fitter and healthier .

Fast walk or jog for 15 minutes at lunch. Do the same thing after school — or walk or bike home. The best way to stay at a healthy weight (or lose weight if you need to) is to make healthy food choices daily .

Children walking to school.© Getty Children walking to school. The Daily Mile was launched in 2012 by Scottish teacher Elaine Wyllie, who was alarmed to see her pupils struggling to complete even basic fitness tasks.

It made a huge impact at her school, and the initiative has since spread around Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world: At the more than 3,000 participating schools, students head outside every day to walk, jog or run for 15 minutes.

Teachers have long reported the benefits of the program — and now those benefits have been proven in a study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Stirling and the University of Edinburgh tested almost 400 primary school students from two schools: one that had just implemented the Daily Mile, and another that hadn't.

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8. Make date night start with fitness together. Hit the treadmill, go for a long walk or jog , play tennis, go on a bike ride: Do something you can do with your partner Start walking your kids to school . This is a great way to get a few minutes of movement in the morning, and still spend time with your children !

If you live close enough to work or school a good solution would be to start walking or cycling. If you jog you should jog at least 1 kilometre (0.62 mi), but it is very "Thank you so much wikiHow, this article has helped me in my planning for my daily routine for being fit and healthy ." " more.

Near the start of the school year, all the children wore accelerometers to gauge how much physical activity they did, and had their body fat measured via a skinfold test. They also participated in the dreaded "beep test" to score their fitness.

About six months later, the students underwent the same tests — and the ones from the school participating in the Daily Mile recorded significant improvements, according to study co-author Dr Naomi Brooks.

Those children increased their moderate-to-vigorous levels of physical activity by nine minutes a day, decreased their sedentary time by almost 20 minutes, added almost 40m on average to their beep test result, and improved their body composition.

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Healthy eating: Rice and stir-fried vegetables is a cheap and easy to make meal that's low in fat. She said: 'It has been shown time and again that you can eat healthily on a limited budget. 'When it comes to exercise, simply going for a short walk or light jog is the perfect place to start for beginners.

Walking is a great exercise. Walk to work or school if you can. This doesn't necessarily mean run five miles every morning, but jogging or running for about 10 minutes at an easy pace definitely make you a very healthy person. If you laugh a lot, it has been scientifically proven to keep you healthier .

"With my pupils, I saw that 15 minutes of daily activity rapidly improved pupils' fitness, health and concentration in the classroom," said Wyllie at an event announcing the study results. "I am delighted that this new research underlines what I found and I look forward to the day when every school does the Daily Mile."

The study is significant because, around the world, children's fitness is falling as their body fat rises.

Children are advised to do 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity a day. According to one report card, less than one in five Australian children meet that target — a similar grade to other countries. Globally, children now have worse cardiovascular fitness than their parents did at the same age.

Meanwhile, a study released in late 2017 found one in four Australian children is now overweight or obese. The World Health Organisation has identified childhood obesity as "one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century", as overweight and unfit children are more likely to grow up to be overweight and unfit adults.

The Daily Mile is hailed as a solution to the problem because it's free, straightforward to implement, and requires no special training or equipment.

Writing for The Conversation, the researchers poured cold water on suggestions that the Daily Mile takes away time that could be spent on lessons, arguing physical activity is shown to boost kids' alertness and concentration.

Anecdotally, the initiative has also been reported to improve children's diet, sleep and overall wellbeing.

"In future we need to expand our research to understand whether it can work in different educational settings, such as high schools, and whether it works equally well for pupils from different backgrounds," the researchers wrote.

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