• 25°

Making healthy choices

Pacelli Elementary School students were greeted with two new hydration stations when they returned to school after Christmas break. As part of Pacelli wellness initiatives for both students and staff, the hydration stations were installed to provide access to water throughout the school day and during, before and after school activities.

Water access will help students and staff increase their water consumption and maintain hydration throughout the day. Water access not only improves the healthy function of our bodies, but also increases cognitive function throughout the day. Students are able to fill water bottles to take water into their classroom. The hydration stations help reduce the use of plastic water bottles as students and staff use refillable water containers. The stations record how many plastic water bottles have been avoided by using the hydration station, a lesson in conservation of resources and proactive ecological practices.

Proper hydration isn’t only about drinking a certain number of cups of water per day. It’s about creating positive effects on one’s mental and physical performance. Recent research shows up to 75 percent of Americans are in a chronic state of dehydration, which means they’re missing out on the health-giving benefits of water. Some facts to consider: The average person’s body weight is more than 50 percent water. A proper hydration level is crucial to maintaining body temperature and eliminating waste; staying hydrated lubricates organs, metabolizes fat, cushions joints and removes unhealthy toxins. The leading cause of daytime fatigue is mild dehydration. Dehydration can lead to muscle weakness, cramping, problems with coordination and increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Americans drink more than 39 billion bottles of water per year and a majority of these bottles are not recycled.

Through a Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grant and a generous donation from the Philomathean Organization, Pacelli was able to fund this wellness project. SHIP works to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives by decreasing obesity and tobacco use and exposure. SHIP strategies include changing established systems to make healthy choices easier, incorporating health into organizational policies and changing the environments in which we live, learn, work, and play to allow easier access to healthy food, physical activity and clean air.

Mini-grants are available for community organizations to implement projects that align with the SHIP goals. Staff and students are grateful to both organizations for making these hydration stations a reality.
If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools visit our website at www.pacellischools.org, email admin@pacellischools.org or call 507-437-3278.