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Family Fitness Nights will return in September

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Thanks to generous community donations and a successful five-week pilot, the Family Fitness Night program will begin September 2014 in the Carroll County School District.

“I want these events to be a fun way for families to exercise together,” said Carrie Smith, health services coordinator for the district. “Having a routine of exercising year-round is beneficial for everyone in a family, not just the kids. Our Family Fitness Nights are a great way for the whole family unit to spend time together and to get fit.”

Smith led five Family Fitness Night events in April and May of this year in order to determine how to best take the program year-round. Physical trainers collaborated with Smith to establish workout routines for the events. They also led participants through workouts. Participants also received recipes and other materials to help them improve their general health.

Many individuals and businesses donated items and services as incentives. Several local gyms, fitness centers and personal trainers donated time and training. Carroll County Memorial Hospital donated 2,500 water bottles. Businesses donated gift certificates and pedometers.

“We couldn’t have done this without help from our community sponsors,” Smith said. “Everyone was so eager to contribute, which shows how important fitness and health is. Everything that we do depends on being healthy, and our Family Fitness Nights are designed to help everyone live up to their potential.”

Since the five-week pilot was successful, Smith plans to expand it to a year-round activity for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Being fit is a year-round effort,” she said. “One of the strengths of the Family Fitness Night program is that it creates a built-in support group. We are able to encourage each other to keep working toward fitness. This is important because everyone gets discouraged when it comes to diet and exercise. Additionally, since we emphasize activities for the whole family, parents don’t have to take time away from their children to get the benefits of daily exercise.”

The Family Fitness Night program is part of the district’s participation in “Let’s Move! Active Schools” (letsmoveschools.org). The program encourages schools to incorporate at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day into school routines. According to the organization’s website, students who are physically active are more likely to attend school, excel in the classroom and stay out of trouble.  By working to infuse exercise into the regular school day and to create an atmosphere of health and wellness, schools can help their students improve their grades and their health.

“We are steadily moving toward the 60-minute goal,” Smith said. “By working with teachers, administrators and community leaders, we can structure the day so that students are naturally taking steps toward greater health and wellness.”

For more information on the Family Fitness Night program, “Let’s Move! Active Schools” or other district fitness activities, contact Carrie Smith at (502) 732-4000. 

 

Carl Roberts is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.