We are a fat state. You know that right? Spend a few minutes people watching at any large event and you’ll see what I mean. But I know we’ve got a lot of scientists around these parts, so here is some empirical evidence that proves not only are we a fat state, we are one of the fattest. Only Mississippi is fatter. This is obviously not a ranking to be proud of and our local YMCAs might just have the solution to working our way down the fat ladder or at least out of the top 10.
Healthy Lifestyle is a Family Affair
Go! Kids is a new FREE initiative launched by all three local Ys that will work with both children and parents to encourage healthy lifestyle choices. The program employs a combination of activity and incentive based programs led by certified YMCA athletic trainers and registered dietitians. While the stated goal of Go! Kids is fighting childhood obesity, the dream outcome for this program is even loftier. Fitness and Corporate Wellness Director at the Southeast YMCA, Sharon Allen explains. “We would love to see changes in the children and hope that by the end of the program they are making good choices and ending bad habits.” Says Allen, “For this to really work, not only the kids need to change but the families as well. Starting these healthy habits young requires the education and cooperation of the entire family.”
Although the twelve-week program starts Monday, September 12, children can join at any point. Children ages 7-12 meet in one-hour sessions twice per week. Once per month, parents will meet with a registered dietician in a group class setting while the children are in class. Pre and post assessments will be made during the first week and at the end of the program. The first 30 minutes of each session takes place in a classroom and the second 30 minutes are devoted to exercise.
Public classes will be taking place at both the Southeast Y and the Madison location. The downtown location is also participating but they are part of a pilot program that brings Go Kids! to the Chapman afterschool program. Membership at the YMCA is not required to participate. If you are interested in signing up or just getting more information call 256-883-YMCA (SE Y) or 256-705-YMCA (Madison).