Get your health grades up in 2018

Do you remember that feeling of anticipation as you waited to get your report card?

The anxiety might have been related to cracking an A, improving your marks – or simply just passing!

With about 10 weeks to go – South Africans should all be feeling like this as we wait for our grades in the Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) 2018 Report Card.

Some 21 months ago, our 2016 report card, which built on the foundation of previous report cards from 2007, 2010 and 2014, gave us an overall C grade for our South African kids’ health – a slight improvement from the dismal D grade in 2014. So what’s in store for us this year?

The report card isn’t just a thumb-suck of what we “think” is going on with our kids’ health; it is developed by a scientific panel of academics and experts from 11 universities, the Medical Research Council, the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA and the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA).

It’s an advocacy document highlighting concerning trends in healthy eating and physical inactivity in South African kids

If you are reading this and thinking that it doesn’t pertain to you – you are wrong.

The choices we make as South Africans influence each other – what we eat, whether we are physically active, our attitude towards our health and our lives – and to each other.

Part of SSISA’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of South Africans, and we engage with partners who share this vision.

“Move for Your Health” – a World Health Organisation campaign – is one such initiative where we believe that great partnerships and healthy messaging can help improve the quality of lives of many.

It is a partnership with Cape Community Newspapers, the publishers of Atlantic Sun; Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC) Running Section; Woolworths; Futurelife;SANParksand Claremont Rotary Club, and we are hoping to inspire our locals from all walks of life to get moving.

In weekly articles, we will bring you tips to become healthier and fitter.

In an unfolding six-week training programme, published in upcoming issues of the community newspapers, we will prepare you for your first 6km walk or run, which will have you fighting fit for the Woolworths Move for your Health 6km walk/run in association with SANParks.

This 6km race forms part of the 2018 Landmarks event, which also boasts a beautiful half marathon.

It will take place on Sunday November 4 in Claremont. So grab your takkies, friends and kids, and let’s upgrade our lifestyles together.

Schools – we are after you too! There is amazing prize money for schools that have the highest percentage participation at the Landmarks 6km event.

Kathleen McQuaide is SISSA’s, strategic, media and sponsorship manager