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Montreal Families

New program tackles teen obesity

As part of its mission to promote active lifestyles, the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA has created a program for adolescents struggling with weight issues.

Launching in January, the Teen Fitness and Wellness Program is geared towards people between 12 and 17 and will offer weekly after-school sessions until June. Teens will take part in activities like boxing, Zumba, wrestling, yoga and spinning, as well as go hiking and skating. Group sessions usually last about an hour, but can vary according to the activity.

Although physical exercise is a large part of the program, Coordinator Samantha Goodman says it also aims to help participants have a healthy diet by working with a nutritionist, as well as building self-esteem and confidence through mental health workshops.

“The idea is to give teens and their parents the tools necessary to live a life filled with healthy habits that they can maintain for the rest of their lives,” Goodman says. “Too often, people give up when they feel overwhelmed by the parts of their lives that are out of control. We aim to help them gain control in a fun, safe environment.”

In order to participate in the program, teens must sign up to be members at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA. Special youth memberships are available for the duration of the program and include a Fitbit watch to track progress.The YM-YWHA also runs many other youth-oriented programs and is located at 5400 Westbury Ave.

For more information on the teen program, send an email to sgoodman@ymywha.com.

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