2014-03-14 / Sports

Rockaway Walks Fitness Column

I Dance For Physical Literacy -12 Steps
By Steven C. McCartney IPO HSW MS

This is an aspiring pledge and reflection to physical literacy and physical education ambassadorship.

Start first by reading this article then replace the word DANCE with your favorite activity you enjoy. Then make your Physical Literacy 12 Step pledge today.

1st) I dance for physical literacy to keep my body healthy and physically fit. When I stay physically active it helps keep me mentally, physically and socially connected with lifelong learning and healthy lifestyle changes. I dance as a cultural activity that reveals the rich and varied forms of simple or complex movements that interconnect aspects of body, space and effort.

2nd) I dance for physical literacy to make rhythmical and fun movement patterns through transferring of weight from one foot to the other foot. Examples: Walk, run, leap, hop, jump, gallop, skip, slide, two steps, combined two-step and step hop on same leg as in Freestyle, Hip Hop, Ballroom and Latin Dance.

3rd) I dance for physical literacy to develop and learn fundamental movement skills and sport skills in four basic elements: ground, air, water and snow/ice.

4th) I dance for physical literacy to connect my leisure and recreation time to reduce health disparities like stress, obesity and diabetes. This allows me to carry out normal, daily tasks without straining, allowing me to function at a more vigorous pace, with quicker recovery.

5th) I dance for physical literacy to improve my aerobic activities, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility and body composition. This helps me maximize my performance, improve my fitness and even manage my weight.

6th) I dance for physical literacy to produce freestyle shapes and when dancing socially and for competition.

7th) I dance for physical literacy to improve my health and fitness by participating in aerobic moderate to intense dance activities for at least 45-60 minutes 3-5 days; strength training 2- 3 days; and stretch for flexibility range of motion 5-7 days a week. This should include my rate of perceived exertion and target heart rate.

8th) I dance for physical literacy by starting with 5 minute warm up and a cool down before and after dance activities to redistribute blood to working muscles.

Remember it is important to prepare your body before and after an activity. For best practices, stay hydrated with increased water intake, and set aside time for rest.

9th) I dance for physical literacy by developing a goal setting strategy like positive self-talk “Today I will___ to achieve my measurable action plan with goals and chosen exercises I enjoy.” You can start with walking, jogging and running activities.

10th) I dance for physical literacy to maintain a healthy diet by making good food choices and having a food plan. Start by making small gradual changes in your diet like reducing fat and increase fiber content found in fruits and vegetables drink plenty of water and exercise. Learn more at www.myplate.gov and www.healthypeople. gov.

11th) I dance for physical literacy to engage in a healthy diet and regular physical activity to help maintain proper body weight by equalizing caloric intake and output as well as lessen disease symptoms (pain, fatigue, depression, etc.). This gives you more energy, and helps you feel better about yourself.

12th) I dance for physical literacy promoting choices like dance to teach children, adolescents and adults to become physically literate (active across the four environments: ground, air, water, snow/ice) for leisure, recreation and sport.

Physical literacy is best achieved by combining health and fitness objectives. Start with food plan and action plan to ensure your success by stating your goals and choosing your exercise, time and place (environment) to exercise, how long you will stick to plan.

For exercise activities, 8-12 weeks is a reasonable time commitment for a new program.

Although dance is an ideal way to achieve a unique kind of physical education, it is not the only way to achieve physical literacy.

Each individual is on a very unique journey towards developing physical literacy and could approach it in numerous ways.

Whichever way you choose to approach your individual journey, ensure that it involves developing skills that will allow for a wide range of application and creative expression. This is the key to maintaining physical literacy: versatile application.

Many people may experience setbacks in developing physical literacy due to a range of physical limitations or circumstances, but do not let this discourage you. Find the right support or form a support team with a friend, teacher, instructor or health professional (Review The Wave article “Form A Support Team”).

With hard work, no setback will be too big to overcome. You can and will be physically literate. Remember, the quality of your physical education is directly proportionate to the effort you are willing to put into it. The “I Dance for Physical Literacy 12 Steps” was created as an aspiring pledge and reflection to promote physical literacy and physical education ambassadorship and to provide a more comprehensive approach to health, fitness, leisure, recreation and sports by staying active in the four environments: ground, air, water, snow/ice as lifelong learners.

This article is dedicated to the participants of “Rockaway Walks” and it’s sponsors. For questions or concerns contact stevenmccartney@walkprograms.com

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