Better than a world record

Published 11:02 pm Friday, October 14, 2011

All day long at Creekside Elementary School on Thursday, children in physical education classes got to help set a new world record for the most jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

They laughed, they got excited, and they had fun. But most of all, they were learning, even if unconsciously, that exercising has intangible benefits that they likely will not fully realize until they are much older.

Once the fun part was over, physical instructor Erik Johnson got down to the boring stuff β€” instilling the fact that exercise improves cardiovascular endurance, prevents obesity and contributes to overall health.

Email newsletter signup

After all the excitement of breaking a world record, the students almost begrudgingly answered the questions about the boring stuff. But the fact is that many of them will come to appreciate this knowledge down the road, even if all they can appreciate now is seeing that new number β€” of which they and their schoolmates contributed about 900 β€” in the Guinness Book of World Records.

With obesity and childhood obesity, along with related problems like heart disease and diabetes, becoming more and more prevalent in America, it’s especially important to educate the younger generation about how they can keep themselves healthy. The country must reverse this troubling trend to prevent additional strain on the health care system and more loved ones dying younger than ever before.

The more children are taught to value health and exercise, the more they will carry those values into adulthood and make smarter choices about their bodies. And that promising future is more important than any world record.