Bigs, are you signed up for Fun Match Health Club yet?!

March 28, 2017, Hannah Rosentreter

Healthy habits never felt so fun

One Thursday night last month, the gym at Hope Community Church was full of squeaking tennis shoes, high fives, and Crossfit-stye games. As one of the kickoff events for the new Fun Match Health Club, the evening gave Bigs and Littles an opportunity to exercise their bodies and build healthy habits together.

Throughout 2017, Fun Match Health Club will provide Littles and their Bigs with an opportunity to try activities that help them be more active and incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their mentoring relationship. Fun Match Health Club is a event series in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing, which will conduct research on the health benefits of having a Big.

Using balloons and basketballs, BBBS staff led the group through an introduction to Crossfit-style stations. Want to give it a try? This workout is fun, but it’s no joke:

The Game Plan (4 minutes per station)
Station 1: Bear Crawl and Push-ups: Do as many push-ups as you can while your partner bear crawls to the wall and back!
Station 2: Balloon Squats: Pass a balloon in the air between you and your partner and do a squat in-between your turns.
Station 3: Crab Walk and Burpees: Do as many burpees as you can while your partner crab walks to the wall and back!
Station 4: Jump Rope and Walking Lunge/Free Throw: Jump rope in place until your lunging partner makes it to mid-court, then pass them the ball so they can make a free throw!


Station 2

The Reward
All Health Club events will help to build teamwork, friendships, healthy habits and new communication skills between matches. And since the goal is to try lots of activities, the first 100 matches who attend 7 or more Health Club events in 2017 will receive Nickelodeon Universe unlimited ride wristbands and a stylish hoodie.

The Research
The U of M research team are exploring e the health benefits that come with having a Big as a role model for a healthy, active life. The School of Nursing is
conducting surveys at the events that aid in tracking current healthy habits of Littles, attitudes towards physical activities, and an overview of how often these habits and activities are practiced and/or encouraged by their Bigs. At the end of each event, Littles and Bigs report how well they liked the activity and whether or not they would recommend it to a friend.

Barb McMorris Ph.D, Professor and Lead Researcher who is also a mentor to her Little Sister Emma, found herself thinking about the kinds of activities that Emma enjoys and the ways that they can include a healthy dose of  fun and fitness in their time together. “These relationships can be fun, but they can also be a way to teach young people how to be healthy. It’s a good reminder that your Little is watching your healthy decisions, and the kinds of activities you share with a young person to can allow you to be a role model for being active.”

The Reactions
Bigs and their Littles h
ad great things to say about CrossFit games.

“We both enjoy sports and so this is great to have access to a gym and a sporty activity.”

“My favorite activity was the balloon one, I didn’t realize how much coordination it would take!”

“I loved the basketball one” … “yeah that was my favorite too!”

The  months ahead will offer tons of Fun Match Heatlh Club options. Matches can attend cooking school, snowshoeing, capture the flag, a YMCA boot camp, soccer, open gym and more! The best part about these events? All of them are easy to replicate at home or in your neighborhood.

If you’re a current Big Brother or Big Sister, you can find Health Club Events in the Bigs Newsletter or on the Bigs Tab on our website. Please be sure that you take a minute to fill out this Parent Consent Form before attending Health Club events. This form is necessary to allow the UofM School of Nursing researchers to talk with your Little and better understand the health benefits of having a Big.

**Interested in our events and want to know how you can get involved? Sign up to be a volunteer today!