Trainers keeping Peninsula moving to stay in shape 

Summertime no longer means playing outside, as many Americans choose to forego physical activity and spend their time inside on computers, watching TV or playing video games.

Although obesity is a national epidemic, heart disease is the ­second-­leading cause of death in San Mateo County and Type 2 diabetes is rising, according to the 2009 Sustainable San Mateo County report.

In an effort to raise awareness to fitness and wellness, three Peninsula trainers — Jennifer Christgau-Aquino, Francine Hanna and Gina Marie Perkins — have partnered with local businesses and the “Family Chef” Amy Fothergill to bring the Get Movin’ Peninsula program to Burlingame’s Washington Park on Saturday.

“We live in a world where we don’t leave the office anymore and go home at 5 p.m. to have a nice sitdown dinner with our families,” Christgau-Aquino said. “We try and pack 10 times more things in our day than we should, so diet and exercise often fall by the wayside.”

Get Movin’ Peninsula aims to provide adults of all fitness levels with fast and easy ways to stay in shape. The event includes four half-hour fitness and nutrition sessions that include cardio classes, core exercises, yoga, pre- and post-natal workouts, and cooking demos with Fothergill.

Although fitness activities make up the majority of the event, the nutrition elements are the most important to adopting a healthy lifestyle. Perkins, one of the trainers organizing the event, will teach how good eating can help people both look and feel their best.

“We want to provide people with good information so that they can succeed on their own when they leave the classes; it’s not just about the what, but also the why,” ­Christgau-­­Aquino said.

The goal of Get Movin’ is to help parents serve as role models for their kids. About 60 percent of San Mateo County’s fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders failed to meet the state’s physical fitness test standards, the report said.

“It’s really time for adults to take hard responsibility for the kids in their lives,” Perkins said. “There is a real epidemic right now with overweight children.”

All proceeds from Get Movin’ will go straight to the Boys and Girls Club of the Mid-Peninsula so that they can expand and continue to provide activities for local kids, Christgau-Aquino said.

Getting better

Percentage of San Mateo County students meeting all physical fitness test standards:

Fifth grade    
2000-01: 23%
2008-09: 38%

Seventh grade
2000-01: 27%
2008-09: 41%

Ninth grade
2000-01: 16%
2008-09: 36%

72.3 percent of seventh-grade students have a healthy weight

Source: 2009 Sustainable San Mateo County

shaughey@sfexaminer.com

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