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Fit Kamp offers healthy tips to youth

Childhood obesity rates in the state of Alabama rank among the highest in the nation. The video game generation has plenty of options to keep itself occupied in doors and decreasing motivation to be active and involved in healthier past times.

But one local group is hoping to help children learn to make healthy choices earlier in life with the advent of a new project that will begin next month.

The Wellness Center at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital launches a new initiative Jan. 3 when it begins its first Fit Kamp for children.

“Betsy (Adams) and I have been throwing it around for a while,” Fit Kamp coordinator Jackie Chauvin said.

“We talked about doing it for the summer, but then we decided that parents get involved with their New Year’s resolutions in January, why not let the kids to the same thing.”

The program will be an eight-week, twice-weekly workshop for children aged eight through 13. Chauvin will teach the class, which will be limited to 12 participants.

The structured workshop will provide education and stimulation to increase the participant’s knowledge and interest in long-term fitness and nutrition. Classes will include games, exercise and education.

“We just want kids to learn without them realizing they are learning,” Chauvin said of the approach she and Adams will take with the class. “We’re going to make it really run.”

Each class will focus on specific fitness and nutritional goals.

Class activities may include yoga for flexibility, focus and balance, team relays for agility and team cooperation or nutrition based target toss games for hand-eye coordination and nutrition education among other activities.

Chauvin and Adams said they hope the first installation of the class can bring about further interest in the subject matter.

“Depending on the success of this, we’d like to make it an ongoing thing,” Chauvin said.

Preregistration and prepayment for the class is required. A deposit of $20 is required to hold a spot in the class.

The program cost is $5 per class or $80 for all 16 sessions.

The center will provide a per-class payment option to help individuals whose children may not be able to make every session.

“The hospital auxiliary are also offering three scholarships to sponsor lower income families if they just feel like they can’t afford the $80,” Chauvin said.

Classes will take place Monday and Thursday evenings from 3:30 until 4:30 p.m.

Those seeking more information are encouraged to contact the Wellness Center at 287-2613.