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Vikings players visit Cooke Hall to swim with kids

This past Tuesday three Minnesota Vikings players came to Cooke Hall to swim with a group of children in a program sponsored by the Vikings Children's Fund and run by the Department of Pediatrics (Dr. Aaron S. Kelly) and the School of Kinesiology (Drs. Don Dengel & George Biltz). The three-year project—Vikings Fitness Playbook: A Weight Management and Physical Fitness Program to Improve Heart Health and Quality of Life for Children—pairs School of Kinesiology undergraduate and graduate students with children from the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital Pediatric Weight Management Clinic. Every Tuesday night for 12 weeks, the children and their parents come to Mariucci Arena where a meal is provided and a dietician helps families learn about making changes for a healthier lifestyle. After dinner, the children participate in physical activity with the Kinesiology students who act as their personal trainer. Between weekly sessions, students follow up with the families via telephone to check in and provide support. After the 12-week supervised phase, children and their families will be followed for another six months and encouraged to continue with the new diet and physical activity behaviors that they learned during the course of this program. The program will start with another group of children and their families in the fall of 2011. This week Minnesota Vikings Colt Anderson, Freddie Brown, and Hank Baskett joined the kids in the pool for a little fun and education about the benefits of physical activity. For more on this event, tune into Vikings Weekly on Fox Sports North.

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