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Black Mountain Primary School is making fitness fun by encouraging families to come together and learn more about healthy habits. Our hometown school brought families together on Feb. 26 for their annual Family Fitness Night. The event was set up so that when families arrived, they signed in to receive their fitness station sheet. Then it was up to them to discover together how fitness is an important part of not only individual health, but how fitness can inspire family and community synergy.

Family Fitness Night was made up of eight local organizations that volunteered their support to educate our students and their families on not just the importance of exercise and healthy eating, but demonstrated that fitness is fun. The local organizations included SCORE!, Art in the Afternoon, Bounty & Soul, Buncombe County School Nurses, Black Mountain Yoga, LotsWild Martial Arts, the YMCA and volunteers from the Montreat College volleyball and cross country team. Each organization had stations around the school where families were free to discuss healthy habits and to participate in simple and fun family activities.

A lesson in fueling minds and bodies with good nutrition resonated with families as they learned that healthy habits are easy to implement when they work together to make good choices. Art in the Afternoon provided a place where the families could paint and discuss the adventures that art offers through a creative process and environmental education.

Bounty & Soul handed out smoothie recipes that families could make together and let the children select fresh ingredients they could taste and enjoy at the event. Bounty & Soul brought to the forefront the benefits of healthy eating and nutrition.

“I loved that my kids actually ate a smoothie with avocado in it,” said Becky Swann, parent of second-grader Ellen Swann. “Bounty & Soul was so helpful and made healthy eating fun - I even switched the peanut butter I buy after talking with them.”

The Buncombe County School nurses guided families through the balances of healthy habits in food and exercise. Families learned that “521 almost done” is a slogan for eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day, to (2) cut screen time and that 1 hour of play each day is good for everyone. And that drinking more water replenishes the body.

Exercise can sometimes seem prescribed and mundane, but Family Fitness Night ignited the flame for movement, as well as the joy people feel when they are moving their bodies through music and storytelling. Families learned about the benefits of exercise and meditation through a mini yoga class provided by Black Mountain Yoga and through demonstrations from LotsWild Martial Arts. They stepped up the energy levels with Zumba, dance, hula hoops, volleyball, four square and jump rope through the contributions of the YMCA and the volunteers of Montreat College.

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