Physical and nutritional fitness are in the media spotlight, and for good reason. Both help fight against obesity. As important as they are to adolescents' health, so too are social and emotional fitness. When combined, all four areas of fitness (physical, nutritional, social, and emotional) are necessary for the optimal wellness that leads to living enjoyable, fulfilling lives. I suggest using literacy as a catalyst for moving toward optimal wellness and offer these five suggestions:
Nine years ago, I was talking with an elementary school principal about scheduling my university tutoring class in his school. Among my concerns was making sure that the children to be tutored did not have to miss recess. His question, "What recess?" was startling and sparked my journey to better understand the importance of how paying attention to the whole child is a sure way to help them to maximize their full potential as readers. Just what, I wondered, could I—a reading professor by profession with a personal fitness-training avocation—do to join the chorus of the many different agencies to address children's optimal wellness in an effort to ward off childhood obesity? The answer to this question culminated in a book I wrote entitled Literacy Lessons to Help Kids Get Fit and Healthy (Scholastic, 2010). In it, I offer several fitness literacy lessons, of which FitLit is a part.