Smart Fit Girls is a 10-week after-school program. The curriculum has been intentionally developed and designed to teach adolescent girls how to love their bodies by embracing their own strength. During our program, girls participate in exciting activities aimed at improving their self-esteem and are introduced to resistance training exercises in a fun group environment. During these 10 weeks, girls meet two days a week for two hours each day.
For the first hour of each session, the girls participate in activities specifically geared to improve body image and self-esteem. Additional activities include topics such as anatomy, nutrition, bullying and media manipulation of images and women’s bodies. Unstructured playtime is included in every session so that girls have the opportunity to be in charge of their own time and health.
The second hour at Smart Fit Girls is spent being physically active, with an emphasis on FUN resistance training. The first few weeks are spent training the girls how to lift safely, but then the workouts are turned over to the girls as they develop fun and new lifting games to music, workout challenges, or other unique ideas that only middle school girls can think up! We specifically focus on resistance training because it focuses on building strength, rather than getting smaller or losing weight. By teaching the girls what they can accomplish when their bodies are strong, we are empowering them towards a healthier perspective of the woman’s body.
Lastly, each session includes a coach led discussion pertaining to that day’s topic. While the topics can be sensitive in nature (discussing how we view our own bodies), having the group discussion helps reinforce the information they just learned while creating a sisterhood and community stemming from open and honest communication. Since the start of Smart Fit Girls in 2013, nearly 150 middle school girls have participated in our program.