It starts off as a drive-thru here and a drive-thru there, sacrificing outdoor activities for indoor video games and then elimination of athletic activities for work related time constraints and the next thing that happens is Kaiser is pitching in for a $20,000 heart procedure.
So much of everyday living is what has made our younger generation obese or just out of shape and a group of decorated Oakdale athletes are doing their part to help get this community back in shape.
Fit For Life is a program aimed at helping improve kids’ overall health through strength training, athletic conditioning, coordination and balance, all focused toward helping kids learn to live a healthy lifestyle.
“This program will help you on all different levels,” former Oakdale High standout Seth Burford said. “Physically, mentally and from the standpoint of making yourself better. If you’re not out there making yourself better when you have the chance, someone else is.”
Burford has teamed up with cousin Zack Quaccia, Oakdale graduate Josh Yarbrough and Fitness Plus owners Brian Ching and Corinne Machado-Ching to help attempt to open the eyes of a generation of kids that are seemingly heading in the wrong direction.
“The whole thing with us is we feel if the kids start young,” Brian Ching said, “and they learn good lifestyles now then we’re not going to have epidemics like we have now with kids in junior high and high school with diabetes and childhood obesity.
“These are things that I clearly see are on the rise.”
It is commonplace for today’s youth to spend 10 hours indoors without any physical activity, devouring several hundreds of grams of sugar and sodium only to rest in bed in the evening with these ingredients simmering.
Add the unhealthy levels of saturated fats and high cholesterol of fast food choices and the reality of sickness is all too real.
Even the high school athlete eventually goes off to college and finds more unstable eating habits and once the collegiate experience has turned into one slow pitch softball game a week, heart disease and other health problems can be a bomb waiting to explode.
“Kids go home and watch TV, get behind the computer,” Ching said. “They are just not as active. But the bottom line is if you are going to sit behind a computer all day and not be active then it’s just like you’re rolling the dice.
“When you’re 30-years-old you’re going to feel like you’re 80 and you’re not going to be in shape.”
The fitness program is clearly a tremendous way to get yourself back into shape. The routine includes methods of stretching; ply metrics, weight lifting, running and physical activity with kettle balls, sledgehammers and tossing and turning heavy tires.
The activities are not focused on helping students become professional athletes; the focus is firmly based on helping kids learn a healthier lifestyle that will be a template for life.
“I believe that we are teaching kids how to do exercises correctly,” Corrine Machado-Ching said. “It is going to help them not injure themselves and learn they are not competing against another person but competing against themselves.
“It’s not about the guy next to you. It’s about what you can do and how well you can improve.”
The morning session July 18 had every type of Oakdale youth imaginable, yet the common thread was unceasing hard work. The kids in the class were simply getting after it.
Blazing triple-digit temperatures proved to be no hindrance for the kids focused on getting themselves into better shape.
“It is unbelievable what we are seeing out of these kids,” Machado-Ching said. “Even the kids that are not athletic, they are working alongside the kids that are athletic and you can see them blossom and grow.”
Regardless of how much fun the kids have after the workouts are complete, during the 90-minute session it is all business, especially for the kids who have dreams of playing on the next level.
“The workout we have set up is a combination of a lot of stuff,” Burford said. “Pulling things from my side of things, to Brian, Josh and Corrine and what we have all learned. We have kind of combined the best of the stuff that we know works.
“It’s definitely a workout that is going to challenge, yet you get that sense of accomplishment once you’ve done it.”