Grant helps keep students at a McCracken County school active in colder months

As the temperature drops and the holidays get into full swing, many of us can end up eating more and being less active.

Fourth grade Reidland Intermediate School student Ellie Shoulders laces up her shoes, ready for a run on a Wednesday afternoon. She knows it’s important to stay active, even if it’s getting colder outside.

“It kind of feels good, but it’s just a lot harder to run. But, you finally warm up after you’ve made a couple laps around the track,” Shoulders said.

Shoulders is among several kids who are part of the Reidland Intermediate Running Club.

“I think it’s very important to stay healthy,” Shoulders said.

A $500 grant awarded this year is allowing Coach Larry Wilson to teach kids the benefits of running.

“We always find that kids are active in the summer, but this keeps them active all through the fall and into the winter, keeps them healthy,” Wilson said.

The winter can also cause some unexpected weight gain. Choosing hydration with water over sugary holiday drinks also can cut calories, and consider turning down your thermostat. The warmer it is, the less energy your body uses to keep itself warm.

Wilson wants his kids to realize any activity is better than nothing.

The CDC shows obese children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.       

Through running club, Wilson teaches skills Cameron McDowell uses out of school.    

“I play with my friends and, just by doing that, I run a lot of the times,” McDowell said.

What Wilson says he really wants kids to learn, though, is that running can be a lifetime activity.

“I’ve seen them be able to run. Now they’re able to run a complete track around the track, where many of them couldn’t before,” Wilson said.

As for holiday weight gain for the rest us, the average of 7 to 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years is a myth. Studies show the average holiday weight gain is less than 1 pound. However, one study shows overweight adults and those who used to be overweight are likely to gain more weight at, an average of 5 pounds.

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