An exercise and fitness program aimed at students at two elementary schools in Galena Park is the first step toward preventing diabetes when the kids get older. As Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports, the CHASE program teaches 800 students about exercise and disease prevention.
Under the watchful eye of Texas Senator John Cornyn, students at MacArthur Elementary were put through the paces in the school’s gymnasium, a regular part of the Choosing Health and Sensible Exercise program that’s been implemented there and at Galena Park Elementary.
“We know that if children learn healthy habits younger in terms of exercise and connecting exercise to better health and learning better nutrition habits, that we can save them from the pain and the healthcare costs associated with a lifetime of dealing with a chronic but largely preventable disease.”
The CHASE program targets mostly lower-income and minority students who have a better chance of developing serious diseases later in life because of a lack of exercise and poor diet habits. Jennifer Markesino-Roberts helped develop the program for the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Community Medicine.
“The CHASE program comes out and does essentially a train the trainer program where they train the PE teachers on different topics. We have 20 topics, so it’s a 20 week program throughout the whole semester and today we were observing target heart rate so they find where their heart is, is it beating slow, medium or fast, how do you keep your heart healthy. Why is that important?”
The program is supported in part by the American Diabetes Association.