Indy 500 drivers share a lesson in healthy habits

The Indy 500 Community Day is an important part of May race traditions. This year, nine IPS schools and two Speedway Schools celebrated Community Day with visits from the 33 IndyCar drivers. Each school hosted three drivers in school assemblies, and the drivers brought healthy tips to share with the students.

Indy 500 driver Charlie Kimball shares healthy tips with school kids

Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students at Raymond F. Brandes School 65 were excited when Helio CastronevesTakuma Sato and Charlie Kimball walked into the gym. Principal Lauren Johnson pointed out how fitting it is for her school to honor the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The event kicked off with each driver introducing himself, followed by breathtaking video highlights of drivers at work! Once the video was finished, two members of the school’s news team, Stephanie G. and Mang T. asked the drivers questions about their life and career.

How much water do you drink on race day?” Mang asked Helio Castroneves.

“Around two liters,” estimated Castroneves. “Sometimes I drink a lot, sometimes I don’t drink as much. It depends on the weather. This weekend it’s going to be really hot, so I’ll drink a lot of water.”

Next, Stephanie asked Charlie Kimball, “How many calories do you burn during a race?”

“During the race, we’ll burn approximately 1,500 to 2,000 calories depending on your heart rate,” said Kimball. “After the race, I try to hydrate with a lot of water and eat really good nutrition Sunday night – a lot of lean meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables and carbohydrates.”

The program shifted from talking about food to tasting it. Two students from each grade were selected to participate in a taste test in which they wore a blindfold and tried to guess each food by taste. Students tasted tomatoes, bell peppers, and apples.

IPS was proud to support the Indy 500 in other ways as well.

New District Health and Wellness Coach, Mrs. Kathy Langdon, worked with Indy 500 staff to have Indy 500 drivers visit 12 schools to educate on 5-2-1-0, a healthy habits program! During this program, drivers went through a fun PowerPoint discussing the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits topics. Each driver worked with students on what they thought was a healthy item and what was unhealthy.

To wrap up the event with a fun exercise, each driver was given a team of students and competed in a relay race. Each driver used a MyPlate to show students what healthy portions look like on a plate. Each teammate then ran to a table on the other side of the gym, selected a picture of a healthy food, ran back and placed the item in the section it belonged within the My Plate and then tagged their teammate.

Students prepare to fill up their plates with healthy food in a MyPlates relay

Jump IN works with IPS as part of its Jump Right UP program, supported by the Indianapolis Colts.  Jump IN works with school districts to integrate healthy best practices based on the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WCCC – pronounced as “wisk)” model created by the CDC.  Schools that accept federal dollars for free and reduced lunches are required to create a school wellness policy. Jump IN uses the WCCC model to help schools create, implement, and integrate their policies into administrative and cultural structures – making them sustainable and ongoing.  For this year’s Community Day, Jump IN congratulates IPS, Kathy Langdon, and the Indy 500 team on an amazing job highlighting the greatest spectacle in racing and connecting it to helping out children grow up healthy!