Fit & Fun
● By Jessie Monsivais
The new year is here, and it usually serves as a time for people deciding to put an end to bad habits and make better choices for their lifestyle. Leading the charge – not just for the new year, but for the community year-round – is Kids Get Fit, a community-based program with a mission to promote healthy lifestyles for children and their families whose health may be at risk.
Beatriz Pena, Director of Kids Get Fit, shares the idea that came from the program’s Founder and President Victor Betancourt. “After Corpus Christi was labeled the fattest city in America in 2010, Victor decided to create a fitness challenge in the community,” she says. “He was asked by the local Boys and Girls Club of Corpus Christi to start conducting fitness classes for the kids.”
After opening the doors to the gymnasium, Victor was moved by the number of youths he felt could use some help. In 2014, Kids Get Fit was officially born as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The prevalence of childhood obesity is rising alarmingly. According to Kids Get Fit, in 2011, the percentage of obese children in Texas was between 15-20 percent, and Texas was ranked as the 5th most obese state in the country.
Kids Get Fit provides motivational education and counseling for families to implement a successful plan to stay healthy together, including fitness classes and hands-on training with exercise and nutrition, inspiring running events, and awareness and prevention.
“We offer hands-on nutrition, fitness, mindfulness, yoga, and Zumba classes for kids 6-17 years of age – free of charge to the families,” says Pena. “The classes are offered through an after-school program held at our studio location, and during the summer, we offer a summer camp as well.”
The 12-week program is currently offered through the Boys and Girls Club of Corpus Christi, but has several additional opportunities that are now in the works.
“It’s a really easy process for parents to get their children involved,” says Pena. “All we require is for the parents/guardians to fill out an application for each child. They can give us a call or email us for a time they can come register their kids.”
As the new year begins, making conscious decisions to help our kids make healthier choices for themselves is a great way to get off on the right foot, and with non-profits like Kids Get Fit, our local community is making that easier than ever.