|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
November 26, 2001
UNCA and Mission St. Joseph's Offer Youth Sports Fitness
Have you and the kids just polished off the Thanksgiving leftovers and now you're thinking about another round of Playstation? This might be a good time to head for the Youth Sports Fitness Fair at 5:30 p.m. November 28 at the Asheville Civic Center. The one-hour fair, cosponsored by UNC Asheville's Athletics Department and Mission St. Joseph's Health System, is designed to get kids from 7 to 16 up and moving. Then stick around as the UNCA Bulldogs take on the defending Southern Conference champ, East Tennessee State at 7 p.m.
Mission St. Joseph's will offer a range of activities, including a grip test for strength, vertical jump measurement, flexibility assessment, hand-eye coordination tests, mouth guard distribution and healthy teeth information, and a healthy eating game.
"We're looking forward to providing a great time for young people and encourage a lifelong interest in fitness and athletics," said Joni Comstock, UNCA Athletics director. "UNCA and Mission St. Joseph's are natural partners; we both recognize the value of youth fitness and benefits of life-long health and self-esteem that athletics can help provide."
The first 80 fair participants will receive MSJ "United We Stand" t-shirts, and there will be drawings at half time for three basketballs signed by all the UNCA players and UNCA t-shirts.
Tickets for the Youth Fitness Fair and the game are $1 in advance from UNCA's Athletics Department and $1.50 at the door at the Asheville Civic Center. For more information, call UNCA's Athletics Department at 828/251-6459.
Youth Fitness Sidebar
Even if your children are not athletes, youth fitness is central to a long and healthy life, according to Dr. Keith Ray, UNCA Health Promotions Program director. "Most of the adult diseases that disable or lead to premature death in this country are directly related to lifestyle. The tragedy is that most of these deaths could have been prevented through changes in lifestyle earlier in life. We've known for some time that the beginning stages of heart disease and other major killers and risk factors such as stroke, certain cancers, hypertension, lung disease, and diabetes, start during childhood. So, regardless of whether or not your children choose to become athletes, help them choose to be healthy."
Here are Ray's five points for parents to consider regarding youth health and fitness:
1. Talk to your children about how important it is to you that they choose not to smoke. Listen to what they believe would lead them or their peers to begin smoking. If you smoke, give your children an opportunity to see you make a commitment to quit, regardless of how many times it takes for you to succeed.
2. Participate in some form of cardiovascular exercise with your children 20-30 minutes on at least three days a week. Brisk walking, hiking, basketball, swimming, biking, and aerobics are excellent ways for you and them to become healthier and more fit. If your children are interested, encourage and support their desire to participate in sports. Join a local recreation facility where your children can engage in physical activity even if they are not interested in organized sports and/or you are not able to participate.
3. Decrease the amount of high sugar/high fat food items in the house. Instead, have more fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, and low fat milk available for snacking and during meals. Consume less high fat/low fiber fast food and help your children learn to make healthier choices at restaurants.
4. Make sure your children are wearing sunscreen when participating in outdoor activities.
5. Spend time each week with your children doing something they enjoy. Be their greatest fan. Begin making a commitment to your own health and fitness. You don't have to be perfect to be a positive role model for your children.
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