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Cross country

Posted by Ralph Ranalli March 7, 2007 07:09 AM

mitchellschool.jpg

NEEDHAM

The students at William Mitchell Elementary School walked, danced, and skied across America during a fitness program designed to motivate mini couch potatoes to turn off their Nintendo Wiis.

Last year, parent and registered dietician Jen Tuttelman, came up with the idea to have classrooms to work as teams to "walk" 3,200 miles across the United States throughout the month of February.

Tuttelman developed a method of converting activities such as swimming, hockey or sledding into miles walked. (The calculation involves comparing calories burned during 15 minutes of sports and play with those spent during brisk walks.) Teachers tracked the miles on large maps of the country, often incorporating geography lessons, said Tuttelman.

“In Needham, we have few overweight children. But it doesn’t mean kids are fit or have the stamina to be where kids were ten years ago,” she said.

–- Lauren K. Meade

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