Getting physical exercise to promote health doesn’t have to be complicated.
It's as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. It also does not require being an athlete.
For the 2017-18 school year, the Glen Rose Intermediate School students (third through fifth grades) are, for the first time, participating in a national program called the 100 Mile Club. Through the 100 Mile Club guidelines, each student sets up a goal to motivate them to get out and move — either running or walking, determined by each individual.
“You don’t have to run, you can walk. Life skill kids also do it in wheelchairs,” said Glen Rose Intermediate School’s head P.E. teacher Carrie Lytle, who is also the junior varsity girls basketball coach and varsity assistant coach for Glen Rose High School. “It’s giving every student the opportunity to be successful.”
The 100 Mile Club is a nationwide non-profit organization created in 1993 by a teacher, with the the stated mission of “engaging and empowering kids and families to achieve a healthy lifestyle through physical activity nationwide.”
The goal established by the original organizers is to help prevent childhood inactivity and obesity with the simple plan of getting kids active and moving.
Lytle also pointed out that the program could serve to promote awareness among adults for the need to include basic exercise on a consistent basis — an idea that many people start the new year with, but fail to follow through on.
Each Monday, the students walk or run on the track at the intermediate school, where five laps equals one mile, Lytle said.
“When we started this, we had no idea it would be so successful. We’re having 120 kids show up after school, and probably 40 in the morning.”
Each student pledged to complete either 25 miles, 50 miles, 75 miles or 100 miles by the end of the school year.
Those who complete 100 miles during the school year will receive a medal.
So far three have reached 100 miles — Ludwig Garcia, Rudy Hurtado and Jorge Mendoza. At least 250 of the students have hit the 25-mile mark.
In the first six weeks, Glen Rose Intermediate participants logged 3,881 miles in all.
“They could have been to Los Angeles and back,” Lytle joked.
“It’s pretty inspiring for a lot of those kids,” Lytle said. “The main thing is setting goals for yourself. Some of them are kind of excited to beat the others.”
Students are required to take P.E. at the intermediate school level, Lytle noted. The intermediate school campus has 421 students in all.