12,000 Deliberate Steps
My wife started working on a grant funded project with Treasure Valley Pediatrics that is addressing childhood obesity. YEAH (Youth Engaged in Activity and Health) is an 18 month clinical program that focuses on clinical health issues while educating the children and families in nutrition and active lifestyles.
YEAH’s goal is not only to get children moving but to show them ways to be active while using all of the outdoor assets a community has to offer – the foothills, greenbelt, community centers and parks.
Since consistency and goal setting are crucial in the success of the program, each participate receives a pedometer. This device allows the child to track their progress and make necessary adjustments in their daily routine. The goal is to hit 12,000 steps by the end of the day.
The idea of goal setting and maintaining a level of consistency had me thinking about deliberate practice and what YEAH’s overall goal is for childhood obesity. Using the pedometer is an accountability tool (there are others tools which I won’t get into here) which provides the child daily feedback. Under the support of doctors, nutritionists, trainers and parents, the child is deliberately changing his/her behavior. This behavior change will not occur without daily practice, coaching, and feedback which in turn create a lifestyle change for the child and their family. I believe in the YEAH program and that it is making deliberate practice a learned behavior in the lives of children and putting an end to a nationwide epidemic.