Several Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community youth ages 8–12 have been participating in the Fit Rez Kids program, hosted by the Salt River Fitness Center and the Disease Prevention Program of SRPMIC Health and Human Services.
The group meets in the Salt River Fitness Center’s aerobics room.
Participants learn about how to exercise and make healthy choices for better nutrition. The nutrition education is provided by Community Nutrition Specialist Jamie Schurz, and workout sessions are led by Rachel Seepie.
Seepie has the youth rotate among various workout stations including bands, step exercise, treadmill, bike, elliptical machine and BOSU circuit training.
Participants are taught how to use the cardio machines in the Fitness Center, and each exercise session ends with stretching.
Schurz teaches the nutrition class, emphasizing diabetes prevention and the “Choose My Plate” program, which uses visual illustrations of what a healthy meal plate should look like in terms of servings from the different food groups, along with hands-on with food models. The class also learns about healthy beverages.
“We go over how much sugar is in [different] drinks and how much exercise they have to do to work or burn it off,” said Schurz.
The students are also working on journals that will help them record their feelings and what foods they eat and track their exercise to encourage better self-awareness of their health. ”I will also be [covering] calcium, fruits and veggies, and protein in later lessons,” said Schurz.
The program continues through July 26, so it is almost finished. Any youth ages 8–12 who might be interested in future fitness and nutrition education programs are encouraged to call (480) 362-7740.