NEWBERRY — Did you know that only one in three children are physically active every day? According to fitness.gov, children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen, which includes televisions, video games, and computer screens.
Newberry County Memorial Hospital’s wellness center is doing its part to help the kids of Newberry County not become a part of that statistic this summer. KidFit is a six-week summer program designed to increase the awareness of physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices.
Benn Pratt, exercise physiologist at the Wellness Center, said this was the first year of the program, but he was excited about what they could offer to children in the area. The program is geared for children ages 6-13 and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the wellness center.
The cost for the six-week program is $20 per child. The program will run from June 24 to Aug. 7. Pratt said there will be a Class Orientation on June 24 that parents are asked to attend with their children.
Throughout the classes, Pratt said they will be doing something different each day to keep things interesting for the children including body weight exercises and using light weights. They will also take some time to enjoy Newberry Hospital’s outdoor playground equipment.
“We wanted to do something different outside of a traditional class or physical education setting,” Pratt said.
Parents are encouraged to spend time with their children in the course so they too can learn about healthy lifestyles.
Along with the physical education part of the course, Pratt said it will also be educational. KidFit is designed to provide time for kids to exercise as well as to provide information regarding nutrition and other topics to decrease risk for short-term and long-term health problems, Pratt said.
Pratt said his hope is that the kids can learn with their parents as well as their peers about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
About 15 to 20 minutes will be set apart each week of the course that Pratt said the groups will go over topics such as the right amounts of sleep their bodies need, how often they should be active per week, and the right foods to eat to keep their bodies healthy.
“Hopefully, with the parents involved, it will keep them motivated to get the whole family involved,” Pratt said about healthy living.
Registration for KidFit can be done at Newberry Hospital’s Wellness Center or by phone. Registration must be completed prior to June 20. For more information or to register call 803-405-7484.