Operation Tone Up get West Virginia students up and moving

Chesapeake Elementary students are taking part in a 10 week program called Operation Tone Up. Photo Credit: (WCHS/WVAH)

West Virginia has received national attention for obesity rates.

Just last year the state came in at number five for high school obesity. Now elementary schools are taking part in a Operation Tone Up, a program trying to combat the problem for students before they graduate.

Chesapeake Elementary student Kaydence Walker said for her the fast paced music helps her forget she's even working out.

"It helps me focus because I'm better at doing things with music," Walker said.

Twenty minutes, three days a week is carved out just for this program. in addiction to recess.

The 10 week program gets kids up and moving to combat secondary diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and even asthma.

Student Braxton Holstein said each week gets easier.

"The push ups are hard, but they get easier every time," Holstein said.

The evidence based approach focuses on the top six nutrients and how to read nutrition facts labels.

"We log in, click on the journal and we upload what we had for breakfast, lunch and snack," Walker said.

Third grade teacher Brittany Akers said the students take it seriously, by entering whatever they can that counts as physical activity, before and after school, to score more points.

"The other day they asked me if they could have a push up competition," Akers said.

Akers said overall, the program opens students eyes, making them aware of their general health.

"It teaches them about focusing on what they are eating, what type of food they are eating. What they should and shouldn't be eating," Akers said.

In May, schools from across the state will head to the capitol to compete to become the fittest school.

They will face off in exercise challenges and test their knowledge of nutrients to see how much they've learned.

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