Win With Wellness Fit Club begins Wednesday.
LUDINGTON — The Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Win With Wellness Fit Club kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 at the Mason County District Library in Scottville with a session from 4 to 5 p.m. and on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at the Mason County District Library in Ludington from 4 to 5 p.m. Elementary school-aged children can learn about the program and sign up, enjoy a healthy snack and win prizes.
Fit Club is a free, fitness and health education program designed to encourage heathy behaviors in children. It was created for all kids to learn about health topics, participate in fitness activities and have fun, thereby teaching children that focusing on health and wellness and dedicating time to it can be a positive experience and provide rewards.
“Fit Club is now in 14 schools across our three-county market area,” said Kaley Petersen, director of foundation and community wellness at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “Each year we offer new education modules, new prizes for the kids to earn, and new opportunities to engage in fitness activities that are happening across our communities. The ultimate prize, if kids register for and finish over the course of the school year the 100-Mile Challenge, is a new bicycle from Spindrift Bikes in Ludington. One lucky winner is chosen from each of the 14 schools in a random drawing at the end of the school year. The number of tickets put into the drawing for each child depends on the number of miles achieved. So there are lessons inherent in the program about how hard work and perseverance pay off.”
The health education modules are taught during the school day by members of Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital’s community wellness department, made up of a health educator, a nurse, a dietician, and a certified physician assistant. The modules cover topics such as the importance of staying hydrated, portion control, nutrition, staying safe near water, germs, dental hygiene, downtime and mindfulness, safety on wheels, being fit, heart health, the importance of breakfast, and the dangers of too much sugar. Modules are rotated year to year so that children are not being taught the same thing in the program as the previous year.
Last year, education was provided to 3,358 students.
“We’ve made some improvements this year to Fit Club that make it easier for parents and teachers to help the kids track their mileage at school,” said Leona Ashley, health educator. “Now, each child receives a personalized EZ Scan card. This encourages them to run laps on the playground, which helps them to get in that good aerobic activity.”
Throughout the school year, Fit Club participants are able to earn prizes and perks based on the number of miles they achieve (running, walking, biking, etc.). Each 10 miles up to 100 earns them a prize and a perk. Prizes include a Fit Club t-shirt, Chinese jump rope, waterproof wallet, backpack sling bag, and more, while perks include things like free admission to West Shore Community College Recreation Center for Saturday open gym and to the pool for open swim, free admission to community event runs, and coupons for reduced admission charges to Sandcastles Children’s Museum, Johnny’s Skate Center, and the Jaycees mini-golf course.
Each child who achieves 100 miles by the end of the school year receives an Olympic-style medal, plus one ticket for his or her school’s bicycle drawing. For every 25 miles over 100, an additional ticket for that child is put into the drawing.
In the 2017-18 school year, 2,093 students were enrolled in Fit Club and they collectively achieved 125,597 miles of activity. Over the previous four years of the program, the students enrolled have covered 375,171 miles.
“We’ve made Fit Club challenging but fun and achievable for elementary school kids,” said Kathy Grierson, physician assistant. “It’s a great way for children to learn the benefits of good health and the good feelings that come with fitness and setting and achieving goals.”
For more information about Win With Wellness Fit Club, visit http://spectrumhealth.org/fitclub .