Myrtle Beach notebook | City adds kids program to annual ‘choose’ fitness competition

Kids will be able to join in the annual Choose Health and Fitness competition next month with the new Fit Kidz program.

Getting ready for its eighth year, the Choose program invited children in fourth through eighth grades to participate in its fitness competition of Pepper Geddings Recreation Center.

“They’ll have after-school, kid-friendly workouts and games for an hour and half – from 3:30 to 5 (p.m.) – five days a week for 11 weeks,” said Pepper Geddings center supervisor Kevin Morris. “Obviously we don’t expect them to come 55 times, but it’s offered so they can come as often as they like. Ideally, they’ll come twice a week.”

The children will participate and be tested in Presidential Fitness Test activities such as the shuttle run and the V-sit reach, as well as active games.

“It’s designed to get them active. How many video games are there out there? We want to get them moving,” Morris said.

Also new this year is Choose to Swim, where participants incorporate swimming into their 11-week fitness program. Morris said it was natural to add a swimming component because of all the center has to offer.

“Our center has a weight room, a cardio room, an indoor track and a pool. … There are so many ways to get active,” he said.

In addition to the kids and swim programs, the fitness competition includes Choose to Lose, Choose to Move and Choose to Train tracks. Choose to Lose is a weight-loss competition for those who would strictly like to lose weight. Choose to Move is with those with a goal of getting active and having fun while exercising. Choose to Train is more advanced, for participants who want to take their fitness goals to the next level with boot camp-style workouts.

“All of the programs offer an 11-week membership to the center. You can go to unlimited classes in the pool and on land … and we offer 100 classes a week,” Morris said.

All participants also will receive coaching to help offer encouragement and accountability, Morris said.

“If people could figure this out on their own, they would have figured it out,” he said.

Morris said the programs are limited to ensure that participants are able to get the instruction they need from their coaches. Choose to Lose and Choose to Move are limited to 150 participants each. Choose to Train is limited to 50 participants, Choose to Swim is limited to 60 people and Fit Kidz is limited to 40 children.

Multiple prizes will be given out in each program and participants can earn “rec bucks” for achieving smaller goals throughout the 11-weeks. The top prize in each of the programs is an annual membership to Pepper Geddings.

The program kicks off Jan. 5 with a health and fitness fair at Pepper Geddings, located at 3205 Oak St. in Myrtle Beach. The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature more than 30 health and fitness vendors.

Registration is open and ends Dec. 31. Adult center members can register for $40. For non-members the cost is $75 for city residents and $125 for those who don’t live in Myrtle Beach.

The cost for Fit Kidz is $30 for city residents and $50 for non-residents.

To register, visit www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/choose.html or call the center at 918-2280.

Tree lighting at Christmas Towne

Stop by the Myrtle Beach Convention Center from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday for the Christmas Towne Tree Lighting Celebration.

The free, family event features live entertainment, games and activities for the kids, including photos with Santa. There also will be face painting, balloon art, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as taxi jet rides and a visit from Thomas the Train.

There will be an official tree lighting ceremony on the plaza. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is providing free parking at the convention center.

The event will be held in exhibit hall A at the convention center, located at 2101 N. Oak St. in Myrtle Beach.

For more information, call 626-7444 or visit www.MyrtleBeachChristmasTowne.com..