According to ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, practicing a healthy lifestyle enables students to succeed in school, career and life.

A strong foundation in core subjects is key to academic achievement. Yet, that alone is not enough for lifelong success. Research shows that students learn best when they are physically and emotionally healthy—they have better school attendance, are less likely to engage in risky behavior, concentrate more and achieve higher test scores. According to ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, practicing a healthy lifestyle enables students to succeed in school, career and life.

Through afterschool or summer learning programs, educators can provide hands-on learning opportunities that encourage students to make choices that will improve their physical and emotional health. Here are four ways to encourage students to make healthy choices:

  • Plant a garden: helps to change students’ food attitudes and encourages healthier food choices
  • Organize team-building activities: teaches positive communication, prosocial behavior and problem-solving skills
  • Play active games: fitness and fun promote physical activity in students. Check out this list of active games for children.
  • Incorporate service learning: teaches personal and social responsibility, increases self-esteem and improves trust and cooperation.

By encouraging students to make healthy choices, educators can develop and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.