Get Fit Kidz to hold obesity awareness walk

Published 11:02 pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

This Saturday, the Get Fit Kidz program, based out of the Christian Love Center on Segars St., will be holding its third annual Get Fit Kidz Walk in partnership with the Troy Unviersity Department of Kinesiology and the Troy Junior Women’s League.

The walk begins at 8 a.m., and participants will walk from the Christian Love Center to the Square where balloons will be released to spread awareness of childhood obesity.

Director of the Get Fit Kidz program, Lawanda Bell, urged the entire community to come out in support of the walk. “Our goal is to get everyone in the community moving, not just kids,” Bell said. “It’s going to be fun for the entire family. There will be door prizes and raffle drawings. It’s free to the public, but you need to get here early to register for the door prizes. We anticipate having at least 200 participants this year.”

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After the walk, there will be an informational session on nutrition and fitness. “Dr. Candace Shuaghnessy from Troy will give a ten minute talk about why fitness is important,” Bell said. “There will also be exhibits set up on the square that will show the nutritional values of different foods. There’s going to be a lot of interesting, informative exhibits.”

Bell said building healthy habits as a child leads to living a healthy life as an adult. “If you can get children to eat properly and exercise when they’re young, those habits will follow them in to adulthood,” Bell said. “Statistically, kids who are more active have healthier lifestyles and make better grades. We want to intertwine health, fitness and education when working with these kids.”

While battling an issue as large as childhood obesity can seem a daunting task, Bell believes anything can be overcome with perseverance. “Every journey begins with a single step,” Bell said. “If you can make that first step, then making the next step is a little easier. Get Fit Kidz is a year-round program. We do some sort of exercise every day, whether it be running, or bicycling, or playing sports. We planted a community garden earlier this year, so kids could have access to fresh vegetables and see the process of food growing.”

Bell said being active leads to a better quality of life. “Living healthier lowers the health risks associated with obesity like hypertension and diabetes,” Bell said. “Basically, being healthy just let’s you live longer.”

Bell also added she would like to give a special thanks to people who made the walk possible. “We want to thank Angeline Green who runs the Christian Love Center,” Bell said. “We also want to say a very special thanks to the Troy Police department for escorting the walkers on Saturday and to Mayor Reeves for allowing us to hold the walk.”

The third annual Get Fit Kidz Walk begins at 8 a.m. at the Christian Love Center on Segars St.

The event is free for the public.