Story and supporting photos courtesy of Spectrum HealthBeat

Basic jumping, timed jumping, the long rope.

If it’s a move involving a jump rope, the kids at Sibley Elementary School in Grand Rapids know their stuff.

Thursday afternoon, Sibley Elementary PE instructor Bill Weibel challenged the class of second-, third- and fourth-graders to show him exactly how much they knew.

It was all part of the Spectrum Health Jump Jam summer jump rope competition.

“Today’s class is going to help you develop healthy habits of exercising,” Weibel said, handing each of them a jump rope as he began with the basics.

“Let’s see how many we can do in a minute,” he said. “Jumpers ready? Jumpers set? And go!”

The gymnasium erupted in a whoosh as jump ropes twirled. Little feet pattered on the gym floor.

“Ten seconds, come on! This is where you make your money,” Weibel said, nearing the end of one minute.

The kids began to report their tallies: 113, 121, 61, 93, 108.

“When we first started jumping rope in my class, many were out of breath at this point,” Weibel said. “Now they don’t even breathe heavy after an intense minute of jumping.”

Next came the long rope—two kids would spin the rope while a third kid jumped in the middle.

Nick Radeck, 10, said he’s really into long rope jumping.

And he wasn’t kidding. He clocked more than 80 jumps, uninterrupted in a one-minute period, making it the class record for the day.

“I’m beat,” Nick said. “But I’m ready to go again, too.”

Thalia Abdullah, 9, quickly joined the excitement.

“I might need to put my hair up for this one,” she said.

At the end of practice, Weibel went over the Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Counts program with the kids.

It listed nine important items for kids to complete each day to promote good health:

  • Eight hours or more of sleep each night
  • Seven breakfasts a week
  • Six home-cooked meals a week
  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • Four positive self-messages a day
  • Three servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • Two hours maximum screen time a day
  • One hour or more of physical activity a day
  • Zero sugary drinks a day

Keep reading this story and more like it on the Spectrum HealthBeat website!