According to the Center for Disease Control, about one in five school-age children has obesity. Many CrossFit Boxes offer kids and teen programs as a way to battle this alarming statistic, because establishing healthy habits at an early age has been proven to continue through adulthood.
CrossFit HellBox in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, has partnered with Rio Rancho Public Schools S.A.F.E. (Students Achieving for Excellence) Program to provide an after-school program for students, with the end-goal of reducing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in children throughout Rio Rancho.
The program, FireHawks Fit Little Beasts, will provide kids with an after-school option that focuses on exercise and movement. The kids sign up on Hellbox’s website if they wish to attend and then head over to the Box after school. Anti Nelly Soto-Hernandez, M.D. and her husband Javier Hernandez, M.D., created the program after realizing that simply educating patients about obesity in a 15-minute wellness consultation wasn’t quite enough.
“We wanted to utilize our expertise to support life-long health and wellness for kids and teens,” said Dr. Soto-Hernandez. “This partnership is the perfect avenue to encourage neurological development for children, while having fun.”
Poor diet and nutrition paired with a lack of physical activity have been proven to impair mental focus. The hope is that through this program CrossFit HellBox will promote a healthier young community. During each class, the Coaches discuss topics like proper hydration, sugar, sleep habits and snack choices in hopes that it will help the students inside and out of the classroom.
“The skills and exercises we’re teaching the kids will translate to increased cognitive function which improves skills not only in other sports, but also in the classroom,” said Dr. Hernandez. “We’re dedicated to combatting obesity and type 2 diabetes rates among New Mexico’s youth and we believe this program is one way to start.”
The program will begin with one local elementary school with plans to expand to all 10 elementary schools in Rio Rancho, alternating schools every semester.