Physical Activity Resources


Physical Activity Resources

California After School Physical Activity Guidelines  

After school staff have the power to make daily physical activity accessible and engaging for every student and to help all youths in after school programs discover the many benefits and joys of physical activity. The intent of the California After School Physical Activity (CASPA) Guidelines is to create high-quality physical activity programs that expand learning opportunities of the regular school day. The CASPA Guidelines can help achieve these goals. 


Breath In, Breath Out

Feeling overwhelmed, feeling stressed? Take a deep breath and read ACE’s 6 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress.”One of the best and most accessible tools we can use to decrease stress is to connect with our breath. During the stress response, the breath becomes light and shallow. When this happens, it is important to bring awareness to the breath to help refocus the mind. Conscious breathing ignites the relaxation response, which triggers physiological changes in our bodies.” Read through the six tips and start enjoying a calmer mind and the health perks. 


Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
A Report from: America After 3PM

America After 3PM has recently released a special report titled: “Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.”  This report focuses on the role that after school programs play to support the health and wellness of students. The findings are based on survey responses from parents from over 30,000 households nationwide.

To download the full report, click here


New Healthy Schools Program Website Provides Easier Way to Measure Progress

The launch of the new Healthy Schools Program website features a healthy schools program that offers schools a unified assessment tool, making it easier to promote policies that support healthy practices. This new School Health Index reduces confusion about which tool to use by replacing the old Healthy Schools Program Inventory. Additionally, the School Health Index works to align school health practices in coordination with national surveillance systems to ensure that kids are healthy and ready to learn. 


Register Your School Now for the JUST RUN Program!

Schools and youth organizations nationwide are invited to register for the JUST RUN program for the 2014-15 school year. This free, web-based fitness program helps educators combat childhood obesity by offering strategies and incentives for advocating for healthy fitness, nutritional, and lifestyle habits for children. Utilized by over 11,000 students this program has many features including clinics, marathons, an anti-drug program, and nutritional education. Not only is the JUST RUN program easy to implement, but it also can be used at before, after, and during school programs. 


Michelle Obama Introduces After-School Initiative

On February 25, Michelle Obama announced a five-year initiative to enhance the quality of expanded learning programs by making them a healthier, more active environment to improve the overall performance of children. The Boys and Girls Club of America in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, have committed to provide children with nutritional snacks as well as opportunities to engage in physical activity. This initiative is expected to advance fitness and nutritional standards in order to promote child success in school as well as later on in life.


Site Coordinators: Calculate Your BMI and Daily Energy Needs

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a single number that evaluates an individual’s weight status based on their relation to their height. It is not a diagnostic tool, but a guideline to help track potential weight issues that may lead to cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
This free calculator can help you determine your BMI and estimate your daily energy needs–to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

Network for a Healthy California; Tools and Resources

Download these new tools and resources for after school program practitioners, participants, and their families on how to incorporate nutrition and physical activity to create healthy after school programs. These tools and resources are funded by USDA SNAP, known in California as CalFresh, from the California Department of Public Health.


Team California for Healthy Kids

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has initiated the Team California for Healthy Kids to promote healthy eating and physical activity throughout the day, every day, in schools, before and after school agencies, early childhood programs, and communities. The campaign will focus on making healthy choices the easy choices.

Rigorous research confirms the clear connection between health, learning, and attendance:



 To complement our school based-program and further our mission, the Sports4Kids Community Training Program provides customized staff trainings to schools, after school programs, summer camps, recreation centers, and various other youth service organizations.


Expanding Opportunities for After School Physical Activity

This policy brief presents recommendations from the Youth Activity Policy (YAP) project funded by Kaiser Permanente, Northern California Regions Healthy Eating Active Living Initiative. The brief examines the neighborhood structures that are already serving youth and assesses how they might become engaged in community health initiatives that strengthen or expand physical activity opportunities for young people. Eight recommendations are outlined for this process.


California After School Physical Activity Guidelines

The intent of the California After School Physical Activity (CASPA) Guidelines is to create high-quality physical activity programs that expand learning opportunities of the regular school day. The CASPA Guidelines can help achieve these goals. The CASPA Guidelines were developed as a result of Education Code Section 8484.8, which required the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop voluntary after school physical activity guidelines for CDE-funded after school programs.

Federal resource

White House Childhood Obesity Task Force

TheWhite House Childhood Obesity Task Force released it’s report and action plan aimed at solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. The May 11 report mentions afterschool in several places, and says that “federal, state, and local educational agencies, in partnership with communities and businesses, should work to support programs to extend the school day, including afterschool programs, which offer and enhance physical activity opportunities in their programs.” Read more about the report’s afterschool recommendations on our Afterschool Snack blog.


Organized Sports and the Health of Children and Youth

This Team-Up for Youth report, released in August 2010 shows that organized sports can play a critical role in the overall health and positive development of youth and that there are grave disparities between which kids can access programs and receive the vital benefits they provide. And the disparities are growing.

State resource

CA Public Health Advocacy Organization

The California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that raises awareness about critical public health issues and mobilizes communities to promote the establishment of effective state and local health policies. CCPHA was established in 1999 by California’s two public health associations – SCPHA and CPHA-N. Click here for CCPHA’s 2009 Annual Report.

Federal resource

Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)

Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.

From anthrax to asthma, from chemical terrorism to cancer, America is facing a crisis of epidemics.

As a nation, we are stuck in a “disease du jour” mentality, which means we lose sight of the bigger picture: building a public health defense that is strong enough to cover us from all points of attack – whether the threats are from a bioterrorist or Mother Nature.


Changing Lives, Saving Lives: Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Healthy Eating, Phys Act, and Food Security in A.S.P.s

Changing Lives, Saving Lives: A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Food Security in Afterschool Programs was developed by the Center for Collaborative Solutions. The guide is designed to help program directors, leadership team members, site directors and your partners–in an intentional and systematic way–strengthen your afterschool program to help students develop healthy lifestyle habits.


Network Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee Resource to Connect to Summer Food

At their June 1, 2009 meeting, the California Afterschool Network Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee discussed the possible reduction in summer food sites for youth this summer.  Fearing that the data may not be available illustrating food insecurity among youth until after the summer, the committee decided to take steps to raise awareness and increase access to summer food. The Committee formed a sub-committee that compiled information making the case for summer food and offering resources to connect to or become a summer food site.  This document is found below.


Network Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee information and recommendations on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

The document attached is based on the work of The California Afterschool Network Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee. Through research and discussion they have determined the methods outlined originally outlined by the Afterschool Aliance may provide improved capacity for after school programs in California to address the very real hunger issues facing children and youth in such programs. They also acknowledge that it is possible to increase the role that afterschool can play in addressing the obesity crisis facing our nation and our young people.