From Your Health Journal…..”What an amazing local story out of the Deseret News by Wendy Leonard called School Principals Compete With Their Hearts. I think of the old song with the line ‘where have you gone Joe DiMaggio’ – where a nation looks for a role model. Principals at 15 schools in Utah are going head-to-head in a challenge that will test their hearts during national heart month. Each has pledged to exercise, eat healthy and incorporate wellness into their lives for at least the next 100 days. What an amazing act of leadership, and to set examples for their young students to follow. With heart disease on the rise all over the country, and childhood obesity rising in many areas, these adults are stepping up to the plate to show their students the importance of healthy lifestyle. I found this story unique, motivating, well written, informative, and most of all – inspiring. Best of luck to these educators. Please visit the Deseret News web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”
From the article…..
Principals at 15 schools throughout the Salt Lake Valley are going head-to-head in a challenge that will test their hearts.
Each has pledged to exercise, eat healthy and incorporate wellness into their lives for at least the next 100 days, during the Intermountain Heart Institute’s My Heart Challenge. The same challenge pitted a dozen city leaders against each other last year, resulting in healthier mayors and communities county-wide.
“I figured they’d have different obstacles to face, but principals are also really busy people and will face the same struggles as city leaders in finding the time to exercise, but they also have the support of hundreds of kids in their schools who are cheering for them,” said Meagan Kline, an exercise physiologist at Intermountain Healthcare. “The accountability may be more prominent, however, because they will see their kids every day of the challenge.”
Many of the participating principals plan to involve their students in the cause, rallying support for themselves to bring them closer to the two $1,000 prizes provided by the Heart Institute.
Cottonwood Elementary Principal Karen Chatterton said a family history of heart disease drew her into the competition.
“It’s important to be healthy,” she said. “I’ve decided to quit kidding myself and saying it is not going to happen to me, because, let’s face it, the odds are against me.”
Chatterton, 62, is looking forward to improving her lifestyle and feeling better about her body. A former dancer, she said she “knows what it feels like to be in shape and have my body work more efficiently.”
Targeting principals in the Salt Lake City, Granite, Murray, Jordan and Canyons districts, as well as from two private schools, is intended to draw children into the friendly competition, giving them more reason to make healthy choices. Kline said the 15 participating principals have the opportunity to play a part in decreasing a growing epidemic of childhood obesity.
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