Workin’ it out!

Mudbug Movers are on the go at New Sarpy Elementary, exercise club has logged 1,045 miles

Heather R. Breaux
March 05, 2009 at 8:47 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

ON THE MOVE. New Sarpy Elementary’s Mudbug Movers meet twice a week to work out and exercise. The club gives children the opportunity to interact and get healthy.
Courtesy Photo
ON THE MOVE. New Sarpy Elementary’s Mudbug Movers meet twice a week to work out and exercise. The club gives children the opportunity to interact and get healthy.
Finding the inspiration to peel yourself from the sofa and get your heart pumping with a good workout is a nagging task for many.

But finding the motivation to replace television hypnotheraphy with cardio and strength training may not be as hard as it seems - especially if 70 elementary school students can do it.

Before school each Monday and Wednesday morning, New Sarpy Elementary’s Mudbug Movers exercise club start of the day off with a little exercise.

And it is parent volunteer Tina Carmichael who is credited as one of the founders of the elementary exercise club.

“The idea came from my family’s experience with a morning running club at an elementary school my son attended in San Diego, Calif.,” said Carmichael. “The club met each morning and allowed the students an opportunity to run or walk prior to the start of the school day.”

The Mudbug Movers Club was started in December 2007 by a recommendation of a parent who has since moved to Texas.

“The administrators and physical education teachers at NSE were very supportive and helpful in getting the club started, and still offer great support to the club,” added Carmichael. “And there are also several parents who regularly attend the sessions and help pass out tokens to the students as they complete laps, record laps at the end of the session or simply exercise with there child.”

The overall goal of the club is to motivate and encourage children to make physical activity a priority in their lives and to have a healthy lifestyle.

“In addition to improving physical health, some studies have shown that physical activity also has a positive effect on academic performance,” said Carmichael. “By giving the students an opportunity to do this at the start of the day, we hope it increases their ability to focus during classroom instruction.”

The students are allowed to run or walk during the club meeting time. The goal is to keep them moving at a pace that they are comfortable with. Some kids may complete two miles, while others finish one mile. All laps are completed n the grass area on school grounds.

“The club has improved the kids physically by giving their bodies at least a half hour of exercise,” continued Carmichael. “And being part of Mudbug Movers helps kids better understand the importance of physical activity for both their body and their mind.

“And we hope that by supporting this idea at an early age, we can encourage them to make physical activity a priority throughout their lives.”

Carmichael points out that others schools should develop similar clubs to encourage students to be active.

“It’s an easy and fun way to help kids join in physical activity,” said Carmichael. “It’s important for schools to support efforts to get kids moving in addition to physical education classes. Not only to teach them, but to take action and give them an opportunity to do it.”

So far this school year, kindergartners have run 30 miles, first graders - 160 miles, second graders - 355 miles and third graders - 500 miles. The Mudbug Movers have logged 1,045 miles since November 2008.

View other articles written Heather R. Breaux

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