By Eraina Hooyer
Junk food, fast food and decreased physical activity are a reality of today’s society and significant contributors to the increase of obesity in the western world.
Students at St. Augustine School have worked to change their lifestyle to focus on a healthier way of everyday living.
St. A’s teacher Lisa Tidd grabbed hold of the Lifestyle Journey Program and introduced it to her Grade 8 health class students after Christmas.
Tidd saw that the program was an important dynamic to add to the classroom and challenged the students to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Lifestyle Journey program also educated the students on heart disease and the importance of keeping active. The students received a pedometer, a book with information as well as a food chart.
The program was a 20 day program and recently ended. During this time Tidd saw a difference in alertness and an increase in physical energy, especially when students ate healthy food in the morning.
“It was definitely noticeable at the time,” said Tidd. “The students were coming up to me and telling me how many steps they did, it really created awareness and it was neat to see. The productivity that I got out of them was amazing.”
Tidd believes that the program was valuable for the students and shed a lot of information on health issues as well as exposing a lot of information about the importance of maintaining good health.
“It opened up the students’ eyes,” she said. “It created an awareness, a lot of students didn’t realize you can get heart disease and that what you do now can affect how it will be for you in the future.”
At the end of the program the class had a healthy snack day where each student brought in a healthy food.
Although the program has completed Tidd still encourages her students to bring in milk, juice and water into the classroom instead of energy drinks and caffeinated beverages.
The Lifestyle Journey program is geared to encourage young people to make healthy nutrition and every day lifestyle choices. It is also accredited by Alberta Education as an authorized learning source.
The St. A’s students are among 11,000 Grade 6 to 9 students who have taken part in the program and other healthy lifestyle initiatives during the 2007-2008 school year.
EnCana Corporation sponsors the Lifestyle Journey Program in more than 130 schools in western Canada and was developed by Ideas for People Inc.