By Wes Bloomquist

The Duncan Banner

Finding the blend of nutrition and exercise that will result in a healthy lifestyle is something that a lot of people strive for.

For area youth, the Simmons Center Fit Kid program is designed to give them the information and workouts at an early age. Formatted for kids ages 7 to 12, Fit Kid is in its first year at the Duncan facility. It combines workouts with informative plans on food and drink choices.

“We want them to gain a better understanding of nutrition and choices in exercises,” said Lori Belcher, youth program coordinator at the center. “I think we are achieving that. They keep a journal to keep up with what they have been eating. It’s a way for them to keep up with what they have been doing this summer.”

Meeting Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, the camp offers a wide range of activities in which the kids can participate. The program has been using kick-boxing, aerobics, weight lifting and water activities to keep the kids active.

“I’ve liked the different things we’ve done,” Duncan Middle School and Fit Kid participant Olivia Clement said. “I’ve become healthier by eating better stuff. I’m playing outside more, too, because I have more energy. I feel better and more awake.”

The camp started in early June, and will wrap up the first week of August. At the midway point, results have already been noticed. Participants were weighed and measured at the beginning of camp, and are in competition to win a music player. The best overall improved participant will go home with the audio device, but the overall goal is for everyone to leave healthier.

“We’re not really emphasizing the weight part too much,” Belcher said. “We have some kids who are at their right weight, and some that need to lose some. It’s more about being healthy than anything.”

The camp has also become a good day’s work for Kevin Roddy. He participates as a shot putter in track and field, and thinks that the camp will help him in his sport.

“It make you get fit,” Roddy, who is a fifth-grader at Plato Elementary, said. “We got to do a lot of different exercises. I liked all of it.”

By design, the program mixes up the activities to provide an assortment of choices for the kids. While basketball, golf and baseball camps solely focus on the individual sport, Fit Kid strives to broaden the kids’ choices.

“This is an overview of activities,” Belcher said. “It’s geared for those who are interested in doing better. There were some kids who their parents probably made them come at first, but now they are really enjoying it. We are teaching them how to make better choices.”

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