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Immokalee Preschool holds Get Fit Day

By Judy Weeks

IMMOKALEE — When the big, yellow school bus pulled up to the gym on May 2, the students from the Immokalee Preschool were all smiles in anticipation of Get Fit Day.

“Many of the 5-year-olds here today began attending our Get Fit program when they were only 1,” fitness specialist Joel Garcia said. “It has been my pleasure to watch them grow and develop the necessary skills and coordination that will help shape a healthy future. Physical and mental fitness are huge pieces in the puzzle of life and guarantee future generations.”

Following the example of their instructors, the kids formed a circle and performed basic stretch and warm-up exercises prior to being divided into separate teams. The gym was divided into six individual courses to accommodate a broad range of athletic activities that included obstacle courses, bag and ball toss targets, relays and agility exercises.

“Our bodies are what we make of them,” fitness specialist Liz Pickering said. “Physical and mental fitness begins at an early age and can be beneficial in establishing lifestyle choices that will provide weapons for the fight against diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”

Alternating events, the teams worked their way through the program taking part in each activity with a great deal of enthusiasm. By far, their favorites were the tunnel crawl and alphabet puzzle game. Laughter and smiles followed them everywhere they went.

A dietician from the Seminole Health Department called for a recess and distributed bottled water and bananas to the young athletes. While passing out the snacks, she talked about the importance of proper diet and hydration, whether you are on the playground, in the classroom or taking time out for a rest.

The youngsters returned to the course for a second round and then were rewarded by the Fitness Department with puzzles for their championship efforts.

“Fitness, healthy lifestyles and positive reinforcement are a primary goal of our department,” Immokalee Recreation director Chris Washburn said. “Get Fit Day is a wonderful way to introduce little tykes to the many opportunities offered through organized sports. Fitness is for all ages.”

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