The New York Jets and the American Heart Association have completed another year one of What Moves U, a joint initiative that encourages physical activity among youngsters. Twelve members of the New York Jets including David Ball, Jacob Bender, Darnell Bing, Kareem Brown, Jason Pociask, Kenyon Coleman, Stanley Daniels, Chris Davis, Mike DeVito, Wayne Hunter, Etinne Boulay and Brad Smith were on hand at Herricks Middle School on the morning of June 3 to lead the teachers and students in exercise activities.
Responding to the continuing decline of physical education programs in many schools and the lack of physical activity for today's youth, the National Football League and the American Heart Association have created the campaign, which is designed to promote physical fitness and healthy living to an increasingly inactive generation of children.
The initiative incorporates several key elements: an in-school activity kit created for teachers, by teachers, which includes curriculum-based activity sheets, program-specific learning materials and school promotional materials; and an interactive fitness-focused website for children.
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease. It also increases the risk of stroke and other major cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends that all children age 2 and older should participate in at least 30 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity activities every day.
Unique to other physical fitness programs for students, the campaign's in-school activation kit is being developed for teachers of various academic disciplines to help them find ways to integrate physical activities into their existing lesson plans.