Getting Kids Active While Doing Math
I received this nifty gadget from Reebok to try for February Heart Awareness month. It took me more than 2 months to actually try it out because I thought it was complicated to figure out. I am not good with the gadgets. It sat in the kitchen for a month before I realized I really need to try it out, plus I wanted to clock the number of steps I take at the off leash dog park around the reservoir. I’ve heard rumors that it’s 1.85 miles for one loop.
When I went to grab it, of course it was no longer in its spot. I asked my husband. He said to ask PickyKidPix. She likes shiny objects. When she got home from school, I asked her if she had it. She was indignant. No, she didn’t have it. “But do you know where it is?”, I implored? Of course she did.
She ran off, and in a few minutes she was back with my gadget. She then demonstrated how it worked, snapping it expertly in and out of the plastic case (not shown) that allows it to be easily clipped to your clothes.
“You push on this button to clock the time,” she said. “Then this button, for number of steps. It also tracks milage. Do you want me to reset it for you?”
I shook it (don’t know why, just did), and the numbers started to escalate.
“Why are the numbers going up?” I asked her. “I am standing still.”
“Mom! It thinks you are moving. Don’t shake it,” she admonished.
My, she really knew how to use it.
The reset button requires an opened paper clip with was not handy, so I just said that I wanted number of steps and I’d subtract from the number it is on now.
Subtraction ... my mind thought. Hmmm…. nice! Even better, have them graph the data … using an Excel Spreadsheet!
I wore it the rest of the day. It turns out that in my Zumba class alone, I stepped more than 5300 times! Who knew?!
The end of the day, I had clocked 9802 steps.
I don’t know if that is good or bad but then I remembered talking to our school nurse who asked if there was a program about health and good eating habits that The Creative Arts and Sciences Committee could bring in. There isn’t which is a shame. Now is the time to teach kids about healthy food choices and staying active.
Pedometers came up.
Kids think pedometers are fun. They also love competition. And graphing progress! Or at least graphing results to keep an eye on their competition. We know this from our March Madness reading competition. (My youngest won his division. PickyKidPix came in second to last. She was sad!).
And so an idea was hatched that also could be implemented at home.
Let your kids wear the pedometer for a day. Chart each person’s results on a master graph. Don’t reset, just subtract. Ha, there will be carry subtraction problems built in that actually relate to their life!
p.s. As to how many steps a person should take in a day, I did some research on the site 10,00o steps.
- A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day.
- Recent guidelines recommend walking 10,000 steps per day.
- How far is 10,000 steps anyway? The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long.
- It takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.
- Take a walk with your spouse, child, or friend
- Walk the dog
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park farther from the store
- Better yet, walk to the store
- Get up to change the channel
- Window shop
- Plan a walking meeting
- Walk over to visit a neighbor
- Get outside to walk around the garden or do a little weedingMore advice on how to accomplish this:A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. Example: If you currently average 3000 steps each day, your goal for week one is 3500 each day. Your week 2 goal is 4000 each day. Continue to increase each week and you should be averaging 10,000 steps by the end of 14 weeks.Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your steps each day. Start by wearing the pedometer every day for one week. Put it on when you get up in the morning and wear it until bed time. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.Have you ever worn a pedometer? It’s fun! I guess I did ok on my Zumba day. Now I need to see how I do on days I don’t have an exercise class. Have your kids tracked their steps? Might be a fun thing to do over the summer!