Getting health in 4-H with nutrition – physical activity

Learn easy steps 4-H clubs can take to incorporate physical activity for health.

Getting healthy through 4-H can be easy to do. This is an important topic for 4-H as the program participants are committing to health as part of their 4-H pledge. In addition to concerns about increased rates of childhood obesity, research shows that children who are not now overweight may be developing habits that can lead them to be overweight in the future.

All children can learn the skills to be healthy and 4-H can help. 4-H clubs can follow these simple activity steps by Michigan State University Extension to follow their pledge to health for better living.

Step 1 – Make a club commitment to include more physically active at meetings.

Step 2 - Can the members think of activities the group can do?

Step 3 – What type of community activities can the club become involved in to increase health awareness?

Step 4 - Talk as a club about the health benefits of physical activity. Are members noticing any changes in how they feel with more physical activity at their meetings?

Some general ideas include:

  • Members make a personal commitment to 60 minutes of physical activity and limit their screen time to two hours or less each day.
  • Include time and space for 4-H members to have active play before or after club meetings to go outside if possible; suggest members wear a pedometer to see how much activity they are getting.

Clubs may want to even consider electing a health officer to help their group follow through with their commitment to health. Cornell University has a Choose Health Officer Guide and Choose Health 4-H Leader Guide which can help groups learn how to incorporate this new important role.

By incorporating simple changes 4-H clubs can easily follow their pledge to health. For more information about resources available through Michigan 4-H Youth Development contact your local MSU Extension office.

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