Children First: promoting a healthy lifestyle - KOTA Territory News

Children First: promoting a healthy lifestyle

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Each year, the South Dakota Department of Health does a survey to track the health behaviors of the state's population.

It includes the estimated risk for obesity: over 60 percent!

Now a local group of girls are cutting their risks.

It may look ridiculous, but the reasons behind the 3K run hosted by Girls Incorporated aren't so silly.

"It's tiring, but it promotes exercising because they just want girls to get out and have fun," said runner Ashley Jade Grandpre.

This is the second year Grandpre has taken part in the annual Ridiculous Red Run.

The girls are encouraged to dress up and act goofy while exercising with their friends.

"This is the best way to promote physical fitness is to do it in a fun way. If it ain't fun, you're probably not going to do it," said Carrie Robley, director of Girls Inc.

The run comes on the heels of a recent report by the South Dakota Department of Health that labels 67 percent of the state overweight or obese.

The report also says 55 percent of us don't have moderate exercise routines.

That's a trend the staff at Girls Inc. wants to curb, by promoting health and wellness starting early.

"A lot of times, kids are stationary because they're playing video games, sitting around watching TV, so this is a way for us to incorporate healthy lifestyles for girls," said health advocate Michelle Brevik.

"We talk about physical fitness, and how important it is for their heart muscle to be worked. It feels great; the girls love it. They love to be pushed, and they love how they feel when they're finished," said Shelly Vidas, a member of the Runner's Club.

This little push that may change the percentages and put 9-year-old Ashley Jade Grandpre at the front of the pack.

"When I got here, there was about 20 people in there, so I was pretty proud of myself. It feels good," said Grandpre.

The healthy encouragement didn't end when the run was over. The kids were treated to a lunch containing lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables.

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