Columbia YouthFit Program Takes Team Approach to Family Fitness

Getting in shape isn’t just about diet and exercise; having motivation and support matter, too. That’s why Columbia Association’s (CA) new Columbia YouthFit program accentuates working together to create healthy families.

The program, which is launching with its inaugural session this fall, focuses on families with children between the ages of 10 and 13 who receive a medical referral. Columbia YouthFit helps families become healthy through motivation, physical activity and healthy eating. In addition, a team of medical, fitness, nutrition and behavioral health professionals work closely with all family members to create a family plan to improve their overall wellness.

The first eight-week session begins on Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Columbia Gym, which is located at 6151 Day Long Lane in Clarksville. With 75 percent of obese adolescents growing up to become obese adults, Columbia YouthFit provides a solution.

“Being overweight as a child can lead to serious health problems, problems that can be life-long such as diabetes,” said Shawni Paraska, CA’s director of community health sustainability. “Columbia YouthFit helps your family overcome these problems. It provides nutrition education, lifestyle awareness and changes, and physical activity for all family members.”

Columbia YouthFit’s program includes fun and informative get-togethers; healthy lifestyle-coaching — both one-on-one with the kids, as well as with the whole family; physical activities for the children; discounts to community events and health-related businesses that partner with Columbia YouthFit; and full access for the entire family to CA’s facilities, programs and services.

Questions for parents and guardians to consider include whether their child spends too much time on his or her cell phone or iPod or in front of the television; feels self-conscious about his or her body weight; eats meals consisting of fast food, high calorie or fattening foods; has unsupervised time before or after school; or has a family with a busy schedule that does not include time for exercise. Those that do should ask their child’s doctor if Columbia YouthFit would be beneficial to the child, and then have the doctor complete this physician referral form and fax it to Columbia Association at 443-283-4247.

The program costs $550 for CA members and $650 for non-members. Fee covers the entire family. Register by calling 410-715-3128.

For more information, go to


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Filed under Columbia Association Press Releases, Health & Fitness, Kids

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