THE BLOG
05/22/2014 11:57 EDT | Updated 07/22/2014 05:59 EDT

The Program That Helps Kids Get Fit

In the case of our youth, we need to go back to school and re-teach movement to those who are lagging behind. Many kids struggle in math, science, or with reading. Those kids have tutors, so why is motor development any different?

Kids are the future.

Our future is not exercising enough. Our future is also not eating well. Not every single child suffers from inactivity, or a diet that isn't focused on fueling for success. The simple fact is, there are too many that are affected by one or another. There are also too many cases where both are neglected. Our youth, in combination with an adult population that isn't taking care of the basics either is getting further from health each generation. I've been writing for Huffington Post for over a year, two years with TSN and a radio show with TSN 1290. I've got four years writing with Inside Fitness Magazine, countless TV appearances, all of it revolving around being healthy.

We have all the means necessary to be healthy, so what's missing?

I started www.onefitcity.com with the goal of creating a healthy nation, One Fit City at a time. The goal is to tell success stories, find uncommon fitness enthusiasts who do it for health and as a passion, and to make sure people who need support and encouragement find that.

Not weight loss, we are creating the joy of movement and a passion for fueling the body to do great things.

In the case of our youth, we need to go back to school and re-teach movement to those who are lagging behind. Many kids struggle in math, science, or with reading. Those kids have tutors, so why is motor development any different?

How do we exercise, and have fun if at a young age at school we were alienated in the physical realm? What if fitness, sports, and exercise actually makes you panic?

I met Robert McAlpine and his Wife Jozé through twitter. They are creating a movement from their gym in Niagara Falls Canada, 1812 Fitness and Grappling Academy. Jozé has brought a physical literacy program to their facility from a program developed in Whales. She is targeting the youth of her city, with the goal of growing it across Canada. Jozé has a psychology background, so meeting with the families and making a plan of success is her strength. Getting the families to buy into the changes is the starting point. Once they are committed and believe they can achieve, then the work starts.

It is simply going over the basics. There are markers as we grow that determine if we are physically on track. It's the same with reading, writing, and math. The difference is, with the academics we stop kids from progressing until the hit those baselines. With sports and movement we move kids forward and then sit them on the bench when they can't keep up.

That wasn't good enough for Robert and Jozé.

This family is going to be ensuring that all kids get brought up to speed so they can have fun and don't grow up to hate or fear fitness. That is awesome.

Every program needs a star pupil. For this family, it's their daughter Gabby. This is how I found out about the program. Their 11-year-old daughter is one of the most noted MMA reporters on social media. Gabby, also known as "Gabzilla", and I are working together on TSN.CA to do picks for up coming fights in the UFC.

Gabby helps with the programs, under her Mom's watchful eye.

That program is growing, and evolving with the goal being to help the youth of this Nation get comfortable with movement. It is fitness focus, but the team at 1812 Fitness and Grappling Academy ensure the students all build on basics. Jozé's experience as a Learning Resource Teacher has allowed her to adapt the program for youths with various disabilities.

As if that all wasn't enough, the focus of the club is to ensure low-income families get access to the expertise and passion that comes from the team. This is what community, health and fitness and the joy of movement is all about.

Do me a favor, take a second and head over to 1812 Fitness and Grappling Academy and give them a like. Programs like this need the support of all of us. The encouragement to continue to do great things and create programs that make a difference in our youth.

This is how we change the Nation's health, One Fit City at a time. We change the youth, and build a solid foundation for them.