Ron Jones: "Fit for Life"
"It is better
to build strong children than to try to repair adults."
I was hired as a health/fitness consultant by the Boys & Girls Club to design, implement, and administer an after-school physical activity program for obesity prevention in Central California. Program funding was provided by Kaiser-Permanente. The Kaiser-Permanente Grant was personally endorsed by California Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). The program targeted four sites. Three sites were elementary schools and one was the local Boys & Girls Club. Participation was requested by parents or guardians. All children were invited to participate whether overweight or normal weight. I named the program "Fit for Life" because we were trying to mold healthy behaviors of physical activity and health--for life--not just for the school year.
"Fit for Life" was a one-year pilot program that operated for the 2003-2004 school year. At the present time, Fit for Life is no longer operational; however, I hope to eventually re-create this program in the future. I have also been helping others to use the Fit for Life format for their communities. I have received inquires about my Fit for Life Program from around the US and Australia including a national TV show based out of NYC.
need to tackle America's weight issues as aggressively as we are addressing
smoking and tobacco...the lack of quality, daily physical education is one of
the most glaring reasons for our obesity problem, particularly for children."
The Fit for Life Program was
based on what I call "Fitness Play." There were NO traditional sports in
this program! No football, no basketball, no soccer, no baseball, no
volleyball. Competitions with winners and losers were eliminated and
replaced with good healthy fitness play that created a quality experience and
enjoyment. I opted for "alternative" life-time activities like
strength conditioning, balance and agility training, flexibility, fun aerobic
activities with walking, playing, and Frisbees. Fit for Life also
be taught children how to think differently about using existing playground
equipment. Each day began with a mini-nutrition lesson
because physical activity alone will never be enough to combat the epidemic of
obesity today in America. For a healthy and secure America, our children
must learn to Get Fit and
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play
than in a year of conversation."
Activity Leader Handouts: (PDF)
Fit for Life School & Program Sites:
Program Information: (PDF)
"In California, 26.5% of all children
are overweight and 39.6% of all children are unfit."
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