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From the Hip: Readers Respond to IDEA Fit Tips & News

Jun 23, 2008

Here at the SOMC LIFE Center in Portsmouth, Ohio, we have several different ways to target youth. The minimum age for membership is 14; however, if parents purchase a membership, their children are included and can use the facility (accompanied by a parent or guardian) during our specified family times at no extra charge.

We also offer a Youth Conditioning program for ages 11-14 two evenings a week. This includes a half-hour education component and an hourlong workout. The program is supervised by our exercise physiologists and personal training staff. The education segment varies, hitting all areas of health and wellness.

In the summertime we offer our Fitkidz program for children 6-11. It is a fun-based group session that is activity-driven with health and wellness information and education always mentioned in the activities. We also offer swimming lessons for youth and a special Performance Enhancement program for our local athletes, which almost always involves those in the youth age range.

Debbie Kielmar
Portsmouth, Ohio

I would like to share some information on our company, called Kids-Move! We were established with the mission to prevent the ongoing rise in childhood obesity and inactivity.

We focus on children ages 3-6 years old. We also run programs and workshops that work with families as a whole, teaching them how to live a fun, fit and healthy lifestyle. We take pride in our program’s uniqueness because we have a curriculum that incorporates nutrition into fun, age-appropriate, fitness-packed sessions!

We are excited and inspired to hear about IDEA's mission and will be checking out how we can get involved and team up with you in our area!

Mary Patterson

We have a Personal Fitness Trainers Mentorship built into our program that we use as a vehicle to fight childhood obesity. It’s a “pay it forward” mentorship that gets trainers involved in their local communities.

I’ve partnered with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in their We Can!™ (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) Campaign ( This is a national public education program to help prevent overweight and obesity.

We Can! is designed to reach young people ages 8-13 and their parents and primary caregivers. It is focused on children and teens because preventing overweight and obesity in the early years can help young people stay healthy and can help prevent health problems in adulthood. The campaign also focuses on parents and primary caregivers because they make a big difference in what children think and do. 

Our goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of the summer, and we’re well on our way to reaching that goal! It’s a great cause, and everyone in our industry should be involved in one way or another. We can't watch from the sidelines any longer. The epidemic of overweight and obesity in America has got to be met head-on and defeated! I'm very happy to see IDEA getting involved in such a big way. Thanks!

Greg Justice, MA
AYC Health & Fitness

I am a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and mom from Colorado. I have been studying the amazing correlation between physical movement and focus and memory for over a year, and have been volunteering in 17 classrooms a week at Stony Creek Elementary in Littleton to get kids up and moving for just about 5 minutes during the school day. The exercises are always accompanied by a positive challenge (be honest, be responsible, etc.). The teachers have reported increased student attention and have been empowered to initiate more movement throughout the school day. This project has led to my Just b Fit video, designed specifically for teachers as a simple tool to help them incorporate fitness into the school day, with the goal of enhancing students’ concentration, health, social awareness and self-confidence.

I have been a member of IDEA for several years, and have been following the work of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Thank you for your amazing work in being an inspiration to fitness professionals and kids everywhere!

Nikki Crouse

The Children’s International Obesity Foundation has a great website with lots of information:

Amy Nichols

How Do You Get Involved?
We also received several letters from readers asking for more information on how they could get involved in the Healthy Schools Program.

Thank you all for your interest in helping children. Getting involved in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program is an excellent way to make a difference in children's lives.

IDEA Health and Fitness Association has joined with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, to fight childhood obesity. The Alliance’s goal is to stop the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010 by taking bold, innovative steps to help all children live longer and healthier lives. The Alliance will positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctors’ offices, and communities. To learn more about the Alliance, go to

By supporting local efforts you can be a part of turning the tide on this alarming trend. You can help by pledging to provide one or more of the following in-kind services in your local schools or in your community:

  • Offer group fitness classes to youth or school staff.
  • Offer personal training services to youth or school staff.
  • Train school staff in group exercise instruction.
  • Offer discounted fitness facility memberships for school staff.
  • Donate used equipment to schools or community organizations.

For more information, please contact An Alliance team member will be in touch to match you with a local school or community group.

Thank you again for your interest in—and commitment to—children's health and wellness.

Editor’s Note: We hope you will keep sharing your ideas. Respond to the stories in IDEA Fit Tips by sending an e-mail to, and we may publish your comments in a future issue.



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