Kid Fit Versus Kid Fat

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

Personal trainer Nancy Mandeville is dodging cones with two kids in tow. The speed and agility exercise is part of the day's regimen.

"Take quick steps! Quick! Quick! Quick! Woo!" she yells, encouraging her small classmates to push themselves harder.

While many kids will spend their summer in front of the TV, Lydia and Alex will hit the gym three times a week. They're the debut class of Kid Fit - a new program through the RMH Wellness Center.

"We're keeping fitness and nutrition fun and creative!" says Mandeville.

The girls are learning how to eat smart and think active for life. It's a simple solution to the growing problem of childhood obesity. Kids have gotten twice as fat since the 1960's. Experts blame high-calorie snacks and high-tech entertainment.

"Kids are free to get home, there's an open fridge policy, TV," says Mandeville.

Not enough exercise and kids soon find themselves packing on the pounds and putting themselves at risk for heart disease, diabetes and depression.

Unless parents and programs like Kid Fit teach adolescents how to fight fat, studies show the younger generation is going to have a lot of problems on its plate - more medical costs, increased health risks and a bigger waistline.

Kit Fit Coordinator Allison Kinney says kids can't succeed with parental help.

"The parents really need to work with their children and be good role models for their children. They need to adopt the same lifestyle changes we're trying to adopt with the kids here and adopt it into the family lifestyle," says Kinney.

It took some coaxing from 13-year-old Lydia Marsh's mom to get her to the gym. Now she loves it, and she says being physically fit makes her more confident and a better student.

"You sort of have a feeling like you've accomplished something today instead of laying in front of the television all day and feeling lazy like a couch potato. At least, It works for me!" Marsh says.

If you're interested in Kid Fit, call the HealthSource at (540) 433-4580.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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