Fighting obesity; fitExpo lands first event in Riverside

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It seems like obesity was never a major topic of discussion here in Riverside but with records showing that it is at an all time high, the Junior League of Riverside decided to take action against this epidemic launching the fitExpo project.

The event took place Sat., Sept. 25, 2010 on the front lawn of California Baptist University.

A project that took two years of planning by the volunteer organization was finally exposed to the community covering topics about childhood obesity and early prevention plans, which offer various activities that fit the interests of each individual member in a family.

“We provide opportunities for families who haven’t tried new things,” the President of the Junior League of Riverside, Brandy Sharpe, said. “We want to find something that kids want.”

A variety of fitness experts were present teaching children the skills necessary for the activities that were featured. Some of those included zumba, yoga, karate, hip-hop dance and lacrosse.

“It’s really nice to see Riverside come together for the youth,” Mike Elliot, former CBU alumni and fitness trainer, said.

Announcements were made throughout the community informing people about the sports and activities that would be available and many members of local fitness centers were also present in this event.

Doctors and nurses from Riverside Community Hospital and CBU were present providing glucose level tests, calculating BMI (body mass index), taking blood pressure and answering health related questions.

The fitExpo was here for the first time this year but will be back every year with the same incentive of fighting childhood obesity.

There will be fitDays coming up on Oct. 9, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. These events will combat childhood obesity and provide free sports and activities that are sponsored by local fitness providers.

FitDays are focused on helping communities at a local level by providing various activities that range from walking to Frisbee golf. All of them with the purpose of changing the lives of families as they develop healthy lifestyles together.

Aside from focusing on fitness activities, the Junior League of Riverside is also hosting a fitFair that informs people about health and nutrition and includes a Family Run and a Chilren’s Health Fair. This will be taking place on March 12, 2011.

“We want to show the community that this is about healthy living and not about dieting,” Sharpe said. “It’s not about competition, it’s about being healthy for all fitness levels.”