Keep running! Young runners ‘Step Up’ to lose weight and gain confidence
In a joint initiative with Hong Kong Baptist University, Kwong Wah Hospital’s “Step Up!” Marathon Training Programme for Obese Teenagers recently helped 24 overweight adolescents get in shape, improve their health and gain self-confidence through a six-month structured, intrinsically motivating plan that included regular training, diet monitoring as well as lots of friendship and fun.
The young participants demonstrated determination and perseverance to overcome each challenge. The group received support from a team of professionals, including a paediatrician, orthopaedic surgeon, physiotherapist and nutritionist. The presence of a group of students from Hong Kong Baptist University as mentors to give friendly advice and encouragement also lent great motivation. All the youngsters successfully completed the 10km race at the Hong Kong Marathon 2014 and the ‘biggest loser’ shed almost 13kg!
Dr Lettie Leung, who led the programme, said that the participants achieved lower Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure and improved lung function, as well as psychological benefits such as higher self-esteem and greater desire to continue doing exercise. “Through this programme, we hope to show young people that regular exercise and healthy eating can be enjoyable, and only then will they adopt it as a life-long habit,” added Dr Leung.