Ram Run: Keeping Fit and Having Fun

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) -- With an obesity epidemic in the United States, it's something schools across the country are paying more attention to.  On Friday the Paragould School District hosted their second annual "Ram Run" for students.

Over 2,000 students from Paragould pre-kindergarten and sixth grade schools took part in the run/walk.

"If we can do anything making fitness and nutrition fun, then it's not going to be such a big deal," said parent Tara Piatt.

The purpose of the "Ram Run" is to get the kids outdoors without them thinking about exercise.

"Exercise is fun.  You can do it at your own pace.  Part of our race is 'balance it out' so if you can go out for 15 minutes and have some physical activity that's good," said Paragould School District's Director of Student Health Services Lynn Treece.

Balance It Out is a health initiative done by the state.  Three schools in Arkansas are chosen for it and Paragould is one of them.

"We're just looking to improve the wellness of our students and faculty and staff and community," said Treece.

For most of the kids the "Ram Run" is all in fun, however some of them have actually been practicing so they can do the very best they possibly can.

"With these kids there is kind of this little competitive thing.  They want to be the first one to win and the first one to cross the finish line," said Piatt.

"They start preparing in their P.E. classes for endurance.  They can walk if they need to, but it also gives them the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and participate in the activities with their family," said Treece.

While this is only the second year for this event leaders say the kids have already shown improvement in their body mass index reports and in their willingness to get outside.