Essay Example: How to Encourage Students to Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

6 pages
1377 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Parents, teachers, and principals play a significant role in encouraging students to live a healthy lifestyle. Ideally, they can make the environment of learning conducive through the provision of quality nutrition, a curriculum which integrates physical activities on regular school days, and giving the children lessons on the significance of embracing an active and healthy lifestyle. School should encourage students by creating an advisory council which focuses on students health. This council should comprise of parents, students, administrators, school staff, teachers and representatives of the community.

Central agendas should be on the implementation of physical activity, healthy nutrition and maintenance of a healthy environment for learning in school. A key objective should be the eradication of obesity. The council can use school health index to assess the school's physical activity, nutrition, and physical education policies. Assessment of the walkability of the school compound should be taken and register the presence of broken sidewalks, unsafe crossings or other factors that interfere with the students movement within the school territory. The presence of such environmental factors hinders normal movement of students.

Conceivably, the council should ensure a healthy lifestyle for the students in school through encouraging the consumption of healthy and highly nutritious food. On celebrating birthdays, parents should be encouraged to bring food such as fruits for their children in school. School should work with parents of the students with disabilities or special needs to ensure that curriculum on the physical activities are involved in the learning plan after and during school. Similarly, students should be encouraged to embrace a healthy lifestyle by guiding them to join or participate in various programs initiated by the US School Challenge. As an organization, US School Challenge plays crucial role in developing the school criteria for food quality, physical activity, nutrition education, physical education and meal program. The participation of millions of children in the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program helps them embrace good nutrition in school. In other instances, schools can as well provide Internet video clips to students that show the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The clip can comprise of sample individuals who have lived a healthy lifestyle with their storyline. The clips can as well consist of dietary guidelines for consuming nutritional food. The outcome of unhealthy lifestyle, i.e. obesity, should be considered in the clip. Students should be made aware that obesity is caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Precise details on features of obesity and the level at which it is increasing will be a public alarm to the students.

Curriculum activities which include football, athletics and other social events need to be included in the education system. Notably, such activities will enhance their physical exercise. Students embrace physical exercises more than class work. Including them in every semester of the year as a form of competition improves the embracing attitude of the students. P.E can be integrated a week thrice within lessons. It can be made as part of lessons, being a compulsory activity gives the students to know the significance of the physical activity session.

The school management, through its manager, should be a role model and an advocate of a healthy lifestyle. These are done through the encouragement of staff to consume nutritious and healthy beverages and food with active exercise. A healthy lifestyle of school staff is a reflection of the students. The school principal should know the physical activities and nutrition needs of the school workers. He should develop objectives for promoting a healthy lifestyle among school staff. Increasing the number of school workers whom they have attained the national guidelines of physical activities bring closer the importance of healthy lifestyle to the students. It is important for learning institutions to provide support from administration for staff on the wellness programs that provide the various healthy lifestyles for the students in case of exercising and eating habits. The working environment should be transformed to ensure that it is conducive and this can take place by introducing changes that favour such transformation. . Changes may include incentives for physical activity, biking or walking apart from driving by car to school. Nonetheless, the principal should organize walking meetings for the staff whereby teachers and other staffs can make it to the meetings through walking certain distances. The management of learning institutions also has an important role to take. Specifically, the principal can organize athletic facilities programs for the staff and the students. Various studies have shown that the competition between employees and students is an inspiration to the students and encourages them to embrace the activity and do it with great enjoyment. School leader should have time to eat with the students; it can be either during breakfast, lunch hour or dinner. He or she can participate during the walking time with the students and can involve a race. In its actuality, this practice of leadership style encourages the students to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

Children in lower classes should be taught on colors by use of vegetables and fruits. Children in the middle classes should be taught of measures and weight using vegetates and fruits from a nearby garden. Students on the upper levels should learn about the value of daily nutritions by use of charts and also through calorie counts. A teacher can walk to the field with the students as part of practicals for science class and ask them to name words and act out on physical activity from the story.

Schools should have a plant garden which comprises of fruits and vegetables. Students should be involved in the digging and planting of the farm. The school garden can be a form of physical and fun activities as well as an educational tool which help them to know how food is produced. School garden acts as a strategy for nutrition education and contributes to enhancing students knowledge of vegetables and fruits and influence perspective on their behavior and change. Integrating school garden with lessons in class, for example, cooking can increase their knowledge. The staff which serves food can give the students the opportunity to taste and learn healthy food preparation guidelines. Additionally, the school can incorporate programs which are focused on the activities selected by the students for a period. Rewards and incentives are given to the students that maintain or attain a healthy weight and have taken keenly healthy lifestyle. The school should organize the competition in the form of various faculties to cover all classes. The activities can be sports or modeling. Students, parents, school staff and teachers are given clear objectives of the program. Body weight and waist circumference will be measured throughout the period of the physical activity until the last day of the exercise. School health clinic doctors will take data and examine throughout the process to see the changes. At the grand finale of the activities, the rewards are given to the winners and those who made changes. The process will encourage students to embrace healthier lives.

Finally, it is important that parents encourage their student child to eat well. She should ensure that he/she eats five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Should help the student to select whole grains, lean protein sources i.e. turkey in part of the fatty food and dairy products with low-fat. Show them how to be keen on portion sizes. Stock healthy food on fridge such as yogurt with low fat, apples and carrot sticks for their availability when they feel hungry. Other than this, parents should encourage their children to maintain body fitness. Students of six years old should get a physical activity of 60 minutes daily. Those with 7 years and above should have 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise weekly. Parents should encourage their child to ride or walk to class to burn calories in part of a bus or being given a ride. He can as well attend school gym and sports after school. Conclusively, helping a child and being an example of a healthy lifestyle can give a student to embrace the healthy habit. School environment plays a significant role as well as parental care. Taking in of nutritious food and engaging in active physical activity can help in body fitness and hence healthy lifestyle.

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