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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

Second Semester Activities

Every day we hear the about importance of healthier lifestyles for our children, but don’t adults need to live healthier lives as well?  Often, as adults and parents, we put the needs of others ahead of our own, but if we let our health slip, who will take care of the others?   At the Grenada School District, many faculty and staff members are making the commitment to healthier living through diet and exercise.

While many people choose to travel the diet path alone, Grenada Elementary School, Grenada Upper Elementary School, and Grenada Middle School employees have joined togther at their individual schools to participate in the Weight Watchers At Work Program.  The program is partially funded by a grant from the Department of Education and allows GSD members to join at a discounted rate.  Meetings are held after school on the respective campuses and are facilitated by GSD employee Kim Holland, RN.  To participate, members must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 25 and attend 12 out of 15 scheduled meetings.  Each school has completed the first 15 week session that began in September.  The new session began January 23, 2012, and will continue through the end of the year.   During the first session, the 63 participating GSD faculty and staff members lost a total of 664 pounds!  

                  Exercise is an important part of a healthier lifestyle as well, and many GSD employees are trying to get fit through aerobics.  Dawn Walls, a teacher at Grenada Elementary School, provides aerobic instruction three days a week in the GES gym.  Cardio, weight training, and ab/core strengthening is done during every workout.  The workouts include basic aerobic choreography, step aerobics, interval training, and boot camp style workouts.  About 12 – 15 people attend the sessions each week.  Participants pay a monthly fee that goes towards equipment purchases and continuing education units for Walls who is an AFAA certified aerobics instructor.  The aerobics class has been in existence for almost 14 years at GES.  

    Grenada High School faculty and staff have also jumped on the bandwagon to improve their lifestyles.  Twice a week, a group of five to ten women meet for a yoga class.  The group began this year in response to one teacher’s inquiry about a yoga class in Grenada.  No class existed, so another GHS teacher, Melanie Hopper, agreed to lead the class and stated, “I started yoga when I stopped doing ballet around the age of 21.  Yoga was attractive to me because the same stretching and lengthening of muscles is involved.  I started doing yoga as a college course.  I learned the basics and then five or six of us to attended advanced yoga.  I studied for several years while living in Columbus.  After that I continued classes in Oxford and later began to practice on my own.  Websites like Yoga Life and Yoga Journal are excellent resources for learning new skills and positions.  The class has continued to grow among teachers at the high school and middle school.  I see us all learning together, not me simply teaching it.  I am still a student of yoga not a master of it.”

Relaxing music plays a big role in the class as well and adds to the feeling of peace attained through yoga.  According to Wikipedia, Yoga is a and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India.  As a participant in this class I must say that yoga is definitely physical and helps relieve stress.  It’s also just plain fun to get together with my peers and try to increase our flexibility and endurance each week!  Yoga is a great way to end the school day. 

Through these classes, the employees of the Grenada School District are working to improve their overall health.  Healthier and happier employees can provide a more positive work environment that translates directly into a better educational experience for the students of the Grenada School District.