Kids Health: Camp Get Fit

Kids naturally love to run and play. But for a child who is overweight, active play can be fatiguing, and sometimes, even embarrassing. Fitness professional Clintonia Simmons, founder of Healthy Kids and Teens, works to help get kids back on track. She's battled weight issues, too. But it wasn't until she saw her teenage daughter struggling that she decided to get serious about becoming fit.

Now, she's made it her mission to teach children the same thing. This summer, she plans to start some healthy habits as part of Camp Get Fit. The 9-week camp takes place at Grahamwood Elementary School on Thursday, May 29, through Friday, July 27. The cost is $75 per week, though Simmons is offering scholarships to parents whose children are overweight.

That's good news for some, like the worried mom who called her recently, desperate to help her 8-year-old daughter, whose weight has climbed to 160 pounds. "This woman was so upset because her child is borderline diabetic," says Simmons.

"The doctor told her if she doesn't lose weight, she might have to be put on medication."

The key, acknowledges Simmons, is learning how to eat a healthier diet and work exercise into your daily routine. Simmons says when she got serious, she clearned out her kitchen cabinets, pitching the processed foods and sugary drinks her family had long enjoyed. Instead, she reinvented their diet by learning how to eat fresh.

Each week, campers learn more about specific themes: drink calories, food groups, etc. Many of the daily activities will emphasize movement. Health care professionals will also present, and include a dentist, a family therapist, and a chef. Simmons believes if she can help one child become more active and healthy, her summer will not have been in vain.

Camp Get Fit runs Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Registration deadline is May 4th. To learn more, call Clintonia Simmons at 737-8447.

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