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BMH, UNHS help fund new ARL Fitness Program - Medical Speaking, Volume Two, Number Five, 12/13/2014

One of the newest fads sweeping the world seems to be the "Keep Calm…" movement, that's a spinoff of the pre-World War II admonition to the British people to 'Keep Calm and Carry On."

Blue Mountain Hospital and Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. have teamed with Albert R. Lyman Middle

School to promote the school's version of 'Keep Calm…" BMH and UNHS contributed funds to pay for pedometers that monitor the number of steps staff and students take, while participating in a school fitness program called "Keep Calm and Walk On." Eagle Air Med also helped fund the program, which was designed to help promote healthier life styles for ARL staff and students. It encourages them to become more active by walking each day.

BMH CEO Jeremy Lyman, and UNHS CEO Michael Jensen said they are glad to be involved with a program that promotes better health among students and staff at ARL. They met with ARL Principal Chas DeWitt and student council leaders, recently, to usher in the first day of the Keep Calm and Walk On program.

In 1939 Keep Calm and Carry On was the message displayed on inspirational posters all over England. The message was intended to encourage people to remain calm, and not panic, in the face of impending German air strikes against Great Britain, during World War II. As DeWitt explained, American merchandising has taken over this slogan and it is very popular with kids.

"So, we thought we'd do a play on it. We did "Keep Calm and Walk On" and made bracelets, with that slogan on them, to remind and encourage our students to be healthy," DeWitt said. "We have activities every week, but we call Wednesday Wellness Wednesdays. Basically the district has money for wellness, but we decided not to do this just for staff but for students too."

ARL starts the week with Mental Health Mondays. Students submit positive quotes that are collected by the journalism class to develop into a PDF book of positive quotes. Tuesdays are Tasty Tuesdays and the staff submits healthy recipes. Wednesdays are Walk for Wellness days. The school closes down the normal lunchtime activities and those who want to can come down and walk on the San Juan High School track. They use their pedometers to track their steps. Steps walked on Wednesday are recorded in the students' planners. They can track their steps every day, but on Wednesday they post them in their planner.

"Everyone who comes down and walks on the track gets a ticket, and they are entered into our fitness drawing at the end of the year. We are going to give away Utah Jazz tickets, and other prizes," DeWitt said.

ARL also features Thirsty Thursdays, when students are encouraged to drink lots of liquids - lots of water. And the school has replaced one of its drinking fountains with a bottled water filler. The cafeteria is encouraged to give students 12 oz. bottles of water at lunch that can be refilled during the day.

Fridays are fitness Fridays. Students and staff are encouraged to wear something from their favorite athletic activity.

Halli Black, ARL Student Body President, said the Keep Calm program will help the students.

"I think it's good because some of the kids don't walk at all. There are lots of people who do this and they're walking down on the fields."

"I think it's cool," said Student Body Vice-President Ayisha Ruiz. "Like Halli said, there are kids who don't participate in anything. There are kids who like to go into the labs and play video games. If the labs are closed they can play video games and still do something active while they walk outside."

"We're trying to get people thinking about a healthier life style. And we wanted to include our kids. That's why we think we're unique. All the schools are doing something wellness-wise for staff, but we are including our students," DeWitt said.

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