Make fitness a game kids will play on their own
Nearly one in three 10- to 17-year-olds in Michigan are overweight or obese, enough kids to fill Ford Field to full capacity almost seven times. Though it’s easy to place full responsibility on parents, they can only do so much. Kids need to be able to choose health food options when they’re away from home, and be motivated to stay active. So how do you help develop healthy habits that will stick?
The Southfield Community Foundation and Boys & Girls Club Field Zone may have found the answer through their “Keep It Movin’ Youth Fitness Challenge,” a five-week fitness contest sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, participating Field Zone members have explored new types of exercise and received information about making healthy choices. The kids worked out to “Insanity” challenges, took various fitness classes like Taekwondo, and played games like musical chairs, hula hopping, and ping pong to earn credit for physical activity.
The challenge concluded with “Family Fit Night,” an award ceremony that included a one-mile indoor walk, family games, healthy lifestyle and health care reform information, a boot camp-style workout challenge and healthy refreshments. Members of the team that logged the most activity received $25 gift cards.
The five-week challenge simply taught kids fun ways to exercise and gave them an incentive to participate. And that’s all they need to get started. Field Zone made fitness a game – and now its members are playing on their own time.