School Children and senior citizens across West Virginia will shuffle their way toward new health habits today to kick off Physical Activity Day.
The West Virginia Department of Education reports that more than 78,000 students in 235 schools will participate by simultaneously performing the Cupid Shuffle, a popular hip hop line dance, at 1 p.m. in conjunction with activities at the state Capitol.
In Beckley, they will be joined by the line dancers of the Raleigh County Senior Center.
The event is geared toward raising awareness of the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyles.
“Any time we can encourage children to be active it is a good thing,” state Board of Education President Jorea Marple said. “Schools and physical education are critical to addressing childhood obesity and other health issues.
Much of the food students eat each day as well as their physical activity happens at school.
“If we can get kids more involved and interested in exercise, good nutrition and overall wellness, their quality of life will greatly improve.”
Physical Activity Day kicks-off the launch of West Virginia’s Physical Activity Plan, which is supported by WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia on the Move Inc., and The WV CARDIAC Project.
The plan, called ActiveWV 2015, supports healthy living to improve the quality of life for every West Virginian.
The Cupid Shuffle event is part of the West Virginia Department of Education’s Let’s Move! West Virginia Active Schools project and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign to raise a generation of healthier kids.
Much like the purpose of the Physical Activity Plan, one of the Raleigh County Commission on Aging’s main goals is to promote healthy living.
“The Raleigh County Senior Center provides a variety of programs and service to help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Jack Tanner, Executive Director of the Raleigh County Commission on Aging.
“In addition to offering a fitness facility at the Raleigh County Senior Center, one of our seniors, Frog Young, has organized a very popular line dance class. These are just a couple of services that the agency offers seniors to help them stay healthy, active, and independent, all while having fun.”
The line dance class meets every Monday and Thursday at the Senior Center at 12:30 p.m., and the fitness facility inside the Senior Center is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance issued a press release Wednesday congratulating West Virginia’s initiative.
Brad Strand, president of the American Alliance for Health stated, “Currently, less than 20 percent of schools in the U.S. provide opportunities for students to be physically active throughout their day. It is our hope that West Virginia Physical Activity Day will serve as a model for other states to emulate so that physical education teachers will work with all aspects of their local school communities to increase physical activity by using our Let’s Move in School resources.”
For more information about Physical Activity Day, a complete list of participating schools and senior centers, and to learn how to do the Cupid Shuffle, visit www.wvphysicalactivity.org/.
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