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Fun fitness friday builds lifelong fitness.

Through the guidance of AMAA member Kate Muskrat of Newton, New Hampshire, Hampstead Middle School (HMS) students trained for a marathon from the start of the school year by accumulating mileage with running, sports, and physical education classes. The program, created by Hampstead PE with help from the Manchester City Marathon and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, teaches children about the importance of regular exercise and healthy living.

HMS students tracked their miles using math and computer skills by keeping Google Docs spreadsheets online and following QR codes to reach the documents. Teachers tracked the students' miles on a road created in the gym and once they reached the 25.2 mile mark, they could compete for the "leader board" (the most miles run by one student in a grade level).

On November 4, the final mile of the marathon was run as a group where all students who completed the 25.2 miles would receive a medal as they crossed the finish of the final mile. Over 200 students received medals and accumulated 4,500-plus miles during the program.

The fitness challenge hasn't ended there. Every Friday, Kate and another PE teacher have been offering the students what they call a "lifelong activity" such as running, Zumba, yoga, karate, dancing, and stretching. This is accompanied by occasional fitness testing.

Kate reports, "Since we began our Tun Fitness Friday' program, we have seen the obesity rate at our school decrease. We have also noticed that students are more involved in and excited about lifelong fitness activities."

Over the winter, students will work with Kate to raise money for the Boston Marathon victims through planning a parent-child road race. Middle school students will also adopt an elementary student with whom to train and run the road race.

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Title Annotation:MEMBER NEWS
Publication:AMAA Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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