Lifestyles

Healthy students the focus of 60 Minute Kids' Club

An hour a day of fitness can be made fun, especially when it is coupled with other healthy choices like eating right.

That's the goal of the 60 Minute Kids' Club, a fun and engaging online program designed to help get elementary school-aged children active that is underway this year at Port Edward Elementary.

The 60 Minute Kids' Club is now looking to expand its community reach by partnering with Black Press.

"Our strong commitment to healthy communities is well-served in our partnership with the 60 Minute Kids' Club" said Randy Blair, president of Black Press' Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island divisions.

"The benefits of active families are so numerous, it will deliver increasingly great news".

"We want to make (children being healthy) even more of a community effort," says Gillian Thody, Western Canada manager of the 60 Minute Kids' Club.

And that means engaging more parents on the importance of their children making healthy choices, while demonstrating healthy choices themselves. These include physical literacy (playing for at least 60 minutes each day), eating healthy (including five or more vegetables and fruits daily and eliminating sugar and sweetened drinks), and cutting back on computer and TV time (two hours or less).

Two 60-day challenges and one 45-day challenge are held throughout the school year, skipping over busy times and holidays.

The first challenge of the year from Oct. 1 to Dec. 1 has just wrapped up, with the second challenge set to begin Jan. 15. Schools across Canada participate at the same time. Schools can sign up for the challenge at www.60minkidsclub.org.

Each student logs in and tracks their own progress, receiving points for each log in, which aggregate under their school. This enables organizers to determine the most active kids, grades, schools, districts, regions and provinces across Canada.

The 60 Minute Kids' Club, which is aligned with Canadian Sport for Life, originated in 2009 with Innovative Fitness, a personal training business. At that time 5,000 Kindergarten through Grade 6 students in five schools in B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia participated in a pilot program which produced encouraging results.

In 2012, 70 schools in B.C. were involved and the program has now expanded to Alberta and Manitoba.

"We hope this year to engage 100 schools in B.C.," says Thody.

To learn more about the 60 Minute Kids' Club, visit www.60minkidsclub.org.

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