Be it equipment donations or fitness and nutrition training, kids and 20-somethings still are in need. We know you know that, but a quick look showed us that the need for education and workouts extends from elementary school to college and from overweight kids who can't run a step to elite athletes who keep getting hurt.
>> The good news is, the so-called "Freshman 15" is down to eight pounds, but the bad news is, those eight could be the start of a trend to gain extra pounds after college that doesn't stop. Research has shown that students start putting on pounds in their first semester and do so throughout the sophomore year. Sure, the gain as a freshman is less than thought, said researchers at the Obesity Society meeting who dubbed the study Generation XL, but it is laying the foundation for becoming heavier adults, partly because good exercise and nutrition habits aren't being learned.
There is a trend to put in some pretty outstanding college fitness centers, but only at schools that have the money, it seems. The study found that for some freshmen, old exercise habits were forgotten as the college life took over, partly because antiquated fitness equipment in less-than-appealing fitness centers aren't motivating and comfortable.
>> In one California elementary school, kids are asked to do little chunks of exercise to "earn" a snack…but it's a healthy snack like fruit, a muffin, bagels, yogurt or vegetables. The session is called "Café Fruite" and is every Friday at noon at Deer Creek School in Northern California. The kids have a choice: Either pay 25 cents for a snack or show off a few jumping jacks or other exercise and get the snack for free. For example, 25 jumping jacks earns an energy bar; jogging in place for three minutes gets a cup of yogurt; or lifting a three-pound weight overhead 30 times wins a plate of vegetables with dip. It's all about prevention, said the nurse who started the program.
Said one student, "You come to realize that it's better to eat healthy and that healthy food tastes good. I like to exercise a lot, especially running."
>> For one elite runner bound for UCLA, a summer running camp turned the tide. The year before, he was constantly injured and chances for Evan Watchempino were slim to do much after high school. But at the camp, he learned about the importance of core strength and how to do it.
Said the runner, "I feel a lot stronger now because my abs and back are in better shape."
Now he has a big scholarship to boot.
>> Still in California, a statewide physical fitness review released in November revealed that nearly half of the state's ninth-graders didn't have the stamina to briskly run a mile. That puts them at risk for future health and academic problems, experts said.
SNEWS® View: All that used and old equipment could do a lot of good at schools, as could a bit of expertise to help students get excited about some exercise.