By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Kelsey Daugherty

Tuscaloosa County School System employees, students and parents put their walking shoes on Friday, April 28, to celebrate Alabama Walk at School Day. Friday marked the nationwide program’s third year in Alabama, and Walk at School Day continues to grow.

Hedi Ramey of BlueCross BlueShield Alabama said, “If you can teach the kids early these healthy habits, you know, good eating, exercise just living a healthy lifestyle, then they’ll take it home to their parents they’ll say mom and dad can we go for a walk after school can we go to a park.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. BlueCross BlueShield teamed up with schools to help stop that trend.

Vance Elementary School Principal Carolyn Wilson said, “I decided to have this day at school because I thought it would be fun first of all and it would also show our children how important exercising is, how important something as simple as walking can be for our health forever.”

Through the program, families are encouraged to exercise together and create a fitness goal.

Director of nursing for Tuscaloosa County Schools Felisa Washington said,  “Walking is the simplest form of exercise. Therefore we’ve asked all of our P.E. coaches to ensure that our students are walking at least 20 minutes today as well as all of our employees we’ve asked that they walk 20 minutes today as well. Our nursing department we focus highly on health prevention and health promotion.”

For more information or to make a plan to track your physical activity, visit bcbsal.org.

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