CLEVELAND– Kids are getting a fresh start to summer with a boot camp to good health Wednesday morning.
MetroHealth Medical Center hopes to tackle childhood obesity with the Pediatric Wellness Center Summer Camp. It aims to teach kids the best way to stay fit.
“Childhood obesity is not going away,” said Susie Akers, a pediatric dietitian at MetroHealth. “It’s a problem that’s in every neighborhood, that’s in every hospital and children aren’t making a lot of progress with losing weight and understanding the importance of eating healthier and being more active.”
The 10-week program is free to patients. Twice a week, children meet with staff for an hour of fitness, nutrition and hands-on gardening.
“I drink more water, more than I usually do and I’m eating better,” said 11-year-old Alyse Arroyo.
Fellow 11-year-old David Burne said he’s never had a regular fitness routine, so it was a challenge to get things going.
“I think it’s starting to get easier, and it’s starting to get more alive and more fun now,” he said.
Yet, on top of learning more about health and wellness, kids are finding ways to give back.
Throughout the summer, they will participate in charity runs with their families like the upcoming FOX 8 FOX Trot.
Akers said the runs have helped keep the kids and their families in shape. “Families are telling us that their children are coming home, talking about the exercises that they’ve learned and the new foods that they’ve tried,” Akers said. “Such an inspirational moment for those families to actually achieve a goal together that they never thought they could achieve, and now they’re excited to be running with us and gearing up for our fun run that we’re going to have in August.”
The Fox Trot will start and finish at Voinovich Park in downtown Cleveland on Sunday, Aug. 25.
There is a 5K run and a one-mile Fun Run.
The event will benefit MetroHealth Foundation’s Brain Injury Program.