Healthy living programming in 4-H Club meetings – Part 2

“Health to Better Living” is part of the 4-H Pledge. Let’s look at different ways to incorporate healthy living activities into your 4-H club meetings or county wide events.

There are many components to a healthy youth and 4-H healthy living programming uses a holistic approach: healthy eating habits, physical fitness, the capacity to manage emotions, and the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.

Today we are going to focus on the concept of physical fitness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control the benefits of physical activity include:

  • Weight control
  • Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce risk for Type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Improve ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult
  • Increase chances of living longer

Recreational time at a 4-H club meeting is a great time to incorporate physical fitness activities. These could be structured type activities like a sports game (baseball, soccer, volleyball) or non-structured play like tag, jumping rope, hula hoop, etc.

Talk with your club members about what they would like to do to stay active and then create a schedule for the year of what physical fitness activities they are going to try at each club meeting. Ask older members to help lead these activities.

Maybe you have a really active youth in your 4-H club. Find a project leader that likes physical fitness and get them to have a walking group, bicycle club or running group that could meet after school.

As 4-H Club leaders, we want our youth to be healthy. Let’s provide some time in their life for physical fitness activities so they can learn good habits around eating healthy and being active. Healthy Living Programing is a mission mandate from National 4-H Council. Making sure youth in our 4-H programs are healthy is an important role for all 4-H club leaders to incorporate into club meetings.

For more ideas on healthy living programming, contact your county 4-H Program Coordinator.

Other articles in this series: 

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