More Thoughts on Back to School

Keeping with the spirit of the back-to-school season, we’re blogging about student fitness this week, beginning with Monday’s post about running on campus.

Why the focus?  Because it really, really matters.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data points out that in about one generation, the percentage of overweight kids (ages 6 to 19) in the U.S. just about tripled.  That’s a scary thought.

Think of it this way.

From time to time, we get e-mails of thanks from once unhealthy folks now happily back on the right track after working through the 5K program.  These wonderful, impressive people are typically middle-aged, and generally have been in poor health — overweight and out of shape — for quite a while.  Starting, quite literally, on the couch and building up to a full 5K is nothing short of heroic for them and can be the start of a life-changing (and even life-saving) shift in their lifestyle.

Reading those e-mails are the absolute high point of what we do.  But you know what?  As much as we love a good comeback story, we’d much rather see people avoid falling off the wagon in the first place.

School is a time when good habits are cultivated and bad ones begin to dig in their heels.  Staying active and healthy throughout grade school, high school, and college is the best way to set up for success and good health for the years and decades that follow.

Only about a quarter of high-school-aged kids are currently getting their recommended daily dose of physical activity.  So I guess the point is that if you’re young, do everything you can to keep feeling young.  If you’re not so young, but know someone who is, remember that anything you can do to encourage healthy lifestyle choices now is going to pay dividends down the road.

If Ease into 5K or another Bluefin program helps make that happen, we couldn’t be happier.  But even if you’re just out there setting a good example or maybe extending the offer of a friendly jog around that new campus, your attention might make all the difference in the long-term health of someone you care about.

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