About the Program
The First Nations Education Steering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association, with support from the First Nations Health Authority, administer the Circle of Well Being program. The mandate of the program is to support BC First Nations schools in educating their students to:
- Make healthy food choices by including fruits and vegetables in their daily diets, reducing their sugar intake and drinking water,
- Be physically active,
- Maintain and improve emotional well-being.
Education research supports the correlation between well-being (healthy living) and school success: academic performance, education behavior and cognitive skills and attitudes. Research also finds that by investing in the health of students, it contributes to generating healthy communities. The program framework is a flexible model that recognizes the diversity of First Nations schools and communities in BC.
Me and My Elder
There are now more of us 65 and older than there are 14 years of age and under!
LONG LIVE THE ELDERS! And to make that statement a truism, consider the following from the McMaster University Optimal Aging Portal www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org;
What the research tells us
Physical activity can improve cognitive function in men and women over the age of 50. This improvement was seen across the board – meaning it did not matter whether a person’s cognitive function was already mildly impaired or not. Many types of physical activity can be effective, including aerobic exercise, resistance training, and a combination of the two.
Overall, people who engaged in physical activity had better attention, executive function, memory, and working (short-term) memory. However, the impact on cognitive function differed according to exercise type, duration and intensity, as well as the specific area of cognition being looked at. For instance, it was found that resistance training may be especially effective for improving executive function, memory, and working memory, while tai chi improves working memory only. Although a variety of exercise types were successful, combined aerobic exercise and resistance training could be of most benefit, as could exercising at or above moderate intensity.
Exercise is a great way to keep the body fit and healthy. If that isn’t enough motivation to get you moving, the possible added benefit to your cognitive function just might!
This month’s Circle of Well Being Student Activity invites you to join with an Elder in any indoor or outdoor physical activity. It may be shooting hoops in the gym, doing yoga in the classroom, dancing in the hallways, snowshoeing or skating outdoors… just go and get active together. Have someone take a photo of the two of you engaged in your activity and email to me on or before January 31st and I will draw from the hat 25 photos. Those selected I will send you a WOW Flying Ring for the student and an Ariel Pedometer for the elder in the photo. Scan and email photos to Circle of Well Being Coordinator, Eric Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have fun!