Kid fitness: Jump-roping for the heart

October 27, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Childhood obesity is an epidemic across the nation and one solution is simple, JUMP!

About Jump Rope For Heart:

This is the 30th Anniversary of Jump Rope For Heart, a national fund-raising event sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). The program engages elementary kids to jump rope to raise funds to support lifesaving heart and stroke research and education.

Thirty years ago, Jean Barkow, a P.E. teacher at Milwaukee Riverside High School held her first "rope-a-thon" with her local American Heart Association chapter. That success inspired a national launch of this event. Since 1978, Jump Rope For Heart has raised more than $703 million to fight heart disease and stroke, and millions of school children have jumped rope and learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Also, these students have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of P.E. equipment for their schools.

Physical activity at school has never been more vital. Some alarming facts to consider:

? Overweight adolescents have at least a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults

? More than 9 million children in the U.S. are overweight and 23 percent get no exercise

? American children ages 2-17 spend an average of almost 25 hours a week watching T.V. ? that's more than any other activity except sleeping

? For the first time in history, children's life spans could be shorter than their parents' because of inactivity and obesity-related illnesses

Jump Rope For Heart is designed to help curb all of these issues. In addition, numerous studies have show that increased physical activity is linked to better school performance

To find out more about the American Heart Association's Jump Rope For Heart program, call 888-242-5867 or visit americanheart.org/jump .


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