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FIT Camp kids get leg up on healthy lifestyle

By Staff | Jun 14, 2011

Forty children attended the first day of Camp F.I.T. Monday morning, an eight- week camp at Christ Lutheran Church that will teach youngsters how to live a healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper snacking.
Coach Chris Casey said the number of children who attended the camp Monday morning was the largest they have had in the four years of holding it. This year the youngest attendee is 6 and the oldest is 15.
He said the camp will teach children how to portion control food intake, how to eat smaller meals five or six times a day, along with healthy alternatives and lifestyle choices involving sports and exercise.
The first week of Camp F.I.T. will include a field trip to the pool, guest speakers, including Wake Forest University running back Tommy Bohanon, Bishop Verot Head Coach Matt Hurting and Lisa Munizza. Speakers will address healthy snacks and tasty alternatives, and an abundance of physical activities.
On Monday, the kids had an opportunity to get to know one another before the activities began. They sat in four big circles as they tossed a ball from one to another to introduce themselves by stating their name, grade and hobbies.
Casey said it is a good activity because it is a way to open the children up a little bit so they can get to know each other.
Further introduction exercises included the boys lining up on one side of the room and the girls on the other as they communicated to find out who was the smallest to the tallest, youngest to oldest and who had the biggest shoe size to smallest. The introduction exercise was another way for the kids to get to know one another.
The children then had the opportunity to break for a small snack. As the kids were eating, Casey went around asking what they had to eat, which included a lot of fruit, granola bars and cheese.
Mike Curtis, athletic director at Cape Christian School, decided to provide a helping hand this year with the camp. He said he thinks it is vital to make students aware at a young age how important it is to exercise and eat healthy foods.
“They need good habits now,” Curtis said. “They need to learn to like exercise instead of resent it.”
The camp is also bringing awareness to his family because they are more conscious of what they are eating, he said.
Casey said the students will receive a folder that contains information about nutrition, exercise, recipes and a journal. He said studies have shown that when you write down what you eat it helps you lose more weight, if that is your goal.
Jasmine Casiano, 12, attended Camp F.I.T. for the first time two years ago. She said because she had such a good time she wanted to attend again this year.
“It was really fun,” Jasmine said.
One of the things that stuck out to her the most was learning how to schedule the food she ate every day to lose weight faster. Now her favorite fruit is oranges.
Jasmine said she looks forward to playing different games at camp.
Michael Hubble, 7, attended camp for the first time this year because he wanted to learn how to eat the right foods and get stronger.
“I want to get strong, and I want to lose weight,” he said.
Michael said he likes eating raisins and purple and green grapes.
He is looking forward to playing basketball, although he says he is not very good at it yet, and exercising.
All of the exercises the children will learn during camp will use their own body weight for resistance.
Some of the exercises introduced Monday morning included lunges, squats and push-ups, along with the use of resistance bands for further training.
The children will also walk on a daily basis. Casey said they will start off at 10 minutes and then increase the amount of time by a minute every day. He said the kids can increase their speed when they feel they are in better condition.
Every Friday either Dr. Walter Flesner and Dr. Mark Smith from Island Coast Pain and Rehab will talk to the students about health and nutrition, along with taking their heart rate, blood pressure, body max index and waist measurement.
Casey said it will show how much the children are improving from week to week. He said in years past, the kids saw their blood pressure go down by the second week.
The camp will end on Aug. 5.