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FIT MINUTE: Preschoolers learn exercises for now and later

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Your child is supposed to get 60 minutes of exercise every day. That's what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. And, playing outside is usually not enough.

So, there is a program in Wilmington that teaches children exercises that not only get them moving, but also help them live up to their potential. It's called Stretch-n-Grow. It goes around to preschools all over the Port City.

"In Stretch and Grow, we make it super fun. Basically, we use characters, ideas and stories that children know about," said Candace Phillips, a Stretch-n-Grow instructor.

During the class on Sept. 11, instructors used Dora the Explorer to help the kids get their hearts pumping and their muscles working.

"So, we get to play pretend with them and also teach them exercise, teach them muscles, teach them nutrition," Phillips said.

Lessons, instructors said children must learn to stay healthy and live up to their potential.

"There are studies that show that if children do not develop certain skills, for instance, jumping, balancing, walking backwards, that they will never fully develop the potential for that," Phillips said.

While the instructors worry about the kids' potential, all the children can think about is how much fun they're having.

"Because I love to move around," said four-year-old Olivia Hennessey.

A love, instructors hope the preschoolers will share with their families, and carry into adulthood.

"They get to go home and tell them about what they learned. If you can make it fun for kids now and as adults, you're more inclined to do it," Phillips said.

Stretch-n-Grow is the world's largest network of children's fitness professionals who, each week, teach over 100,000 children in hundreds of cities across 15 countries.

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