This summer, Teens in Balance and Fit2Lead came together for the first time to help kids learn how to lead a healthy life. Teens in Balance, sponsored by the New Balance Foundation, is a new GoKids program for teens ages 13–17. For four intensive weeks, 12 teenagers referred for weight management and were mentored by 12 older peers from the Fit2Lead group, and learned basic anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and fitness.
Fit2Lead participants, sponsored by a grant from UMass Medical School, consisted of a group of teens from Dorchester Academy trained in fitness and mentoring skills. Various fitness classes, group activities, and fitness challenges were held throughout the program as staff and mentors focused on helping participants be active in daily life and learn how to use gym equipment effectively. Fit2Lead participants helped GoKids staff members facilitate exercise and motivated their Teens in Balance peers.
For more continuity of care, Teens in Balance members received full membership scholarships to GoKids for four months this fall. Preliminary data analysis from both programs indicates improvements in fitness and body composition among a majority of participants.
“We had fun with the kids and got healthy,” says Brian, age 16, a Fit2Lead participant. “Advice I’d give to a kid coming to GoKids would be: if you want to lose weight just go hard and don’t stop.”
To read the full GoKids Fall SnapShot, click here.