The Importance of Physical Activity
Increasing physical activity and improving nutrition have been identified as two of the greatest challenges currently facing Americans. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence has been linked to healthy bones and muscles, improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased self-esteem. Data have also shown that active children are far more likely to remain active as adults.
The Balanced Energy-Physical Activity (BEPA) Toolkit integrates physical activity and nutrition concepts through education and activity. Nutrition concepts are linked to physical activity concepts and active games through an approach that explains the concept of balanced energy as a combination of healthful eating and regular, varied physical activity.
The BEPA Toolkit provides educators with materials and activity ideas that can be used in and outside of the classroom and before, during, or after school to increase children’s physical activity time at school. BEPA represents an evidence-based, behaviorally focused program that seamlessly integrates the components of energy balance: healthful eating and physical activity.
The BEPA Toolkit is...
Innovative. Core nutrition messages are integrated with conceptually similar physical activity messages, reinforcing the notion of energy balance through developmentally appropriate experiential learning activities and discussion about relevant key nutrition and physical activity concepts.
Versatile. The BEPA Toolkit is for use in before, during, or after school settings; indoors and outdoors. The BEPA Toolkit can be used with any age-appropriate nutrition curriculum to increase and integrate physical activity into existing lesson plans.
Practical. The BEPA Toolkit provides all the materials necessary to get children active while also reinforcing the importance of healthy eating and active living. The BEPA Toolkit can help schools meet physical education standards requiring 150 minutes of weekly physical activity for elementary age children.
The BEPA Toolkit is NOT an “exercise program” designed to build strength, endurance, or physical skills. Although these things may occur as a result of using the kit, the primary goals of the kit are to increase children’s physical activity levels and reinforce the components of energy balance: healthful eating and physical activity.