Be There: Encouraging Exercise - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Be There: Encouraging Exercise

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By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Wednesday was International Walk to School Day and eight elementary and middle schools in Muscogee County joined in on the fun. While the kids thought it was just an excuse for a parade, parents and teachers knew the event was an encouragement for kids to exercise more.

You usually see a large group of students piling on to a bus to get to school, but for International Walk to School Day they laced up their shoes and let their feet take them to school.

One parent taking part in the parade, Wilson Holland said, "I wish every day going to school was this exciting because Wilson enjoyed getting up and exercising a bit and we got our exercise for the day done this morning. It was a good way to start the day."

"It was awesome. I had a great time with my friends," said Hunter Hemmings. Many students Hunter's age make an effort to get outside and play each day, "I run, I play football, wrestling, and baseball. I do pull-ups and push-ups every day. I kind of have a routine."

Holland added, "We try to exercise every night after school around 5:30 but this is a great. It reinforces to Wilson how important it is to maintain healthiness throughout his life and to put more emphasis into that."

Studies show not every family is making those types of efforts. As time goes on, children are actually exercising less and weighing more.

In 1960 the average 10 year old boy weighed 74 pounds, while a girl that age weighed 77. Now a boy that same age weighs 85 pounds and a girl weighs 88.

Even older kids are packing on more pounds... In the 1960's a 15 year old boy would weigh in at 135, whereas a boy today weighs 15 pounds more than that. An average girl in the 60's weighed 124, today that same girl is ten pounds heavier.

Small steps, like Walk To School Day, can start a chain reaction in kids, and encourage parents to keep an exercise routine.

"We live right around the corner so it's nice to come around the corner to school and we have sidewalks the whole way too, so we try to most mornings," Holland told News Leader Nine.

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