Teens In Motion (T.I.M.) is an exercise and healthy behaviour program for clinically overweight (BMI>25kg/m2) youth between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. At T.I.M. we introduce teens to sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes without putting the focus on weight loss. Our goal is to help teens develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to make long-term, positive lifestyle changes to improve overall health, well-being and disease-risk.
Classes are directed by certified exercise professionals with assistance from trained student volunteers who provide a fun, encouraging, non-judgemental, "no-pressure" environment. In the program, teens are introduced to fundamental movement patterns, games, and sport skills to help improve their balance and coordination. They are taught how to safely use standard gym equipment following age-appropriate guidelines and are exposed to a variety of cardiovascular and strength training techniques. Teens are provided with a workbook that outlines a weekly lesson on a healthy behaviour and they are asked to set weekly exercise and nutrition goals. Learning in a safe and comfortable environment boosts self-confidence and leads to improved coordination, strength, cardiovascular fitness, which increases the likelihood of participants wanting to engage in physical activity in their school or community.
Who is a candidate for Teens In Motion?
Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 years old who are clinically overweight (BMI>25kg/m2) are eligible for the program.
Referral to participate
Teens must be referred to the program by their family physician, pediatrician or registered dietitian. Please contact Fitness staff for referral forms.
What happens next?
Once registered, teens join a weekly, 90 minute class for 12 weeks. Typically, classes are offered in the fall, winter and spring terms. Classes are a small-group format with 10-20 participants.
An initial assessment is performed to understand teens' baseline capabilities and ensure they are started at a safe and comfortable exercise level. Each week teens participate in a brief lesson review, warm up, cardiovascular and strength exercises and a cool down and stretching exercises. Fitbit's are worn during the exercise class to monitor heart rate and record steps. Teens are provided with a workbook that outlines various exercise, nutrition and otherwise healthy habits to reinforce the need for commitment not only to the program but to their lifestyle.
At the conclusion of the program teens will have the knowledge and skills to continue exercising on their own in their school or community.
Where to find us
The Teens In Motion program is located at the University of Waterloo in the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building: 340 Hagey Boulevard, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6.
For map and detailed directions, see directions and parking for access to the Toby Jenkins Building.
In order to continue and expand this valuable program for youth in our community, we rely on the generosity of donors like you.
To donate directly to the program, contact Sherri Sutherland, Applied Health Sciences Alumni Advancement Officer or complete Waterloo's secure online donation form (designate your gift as "Other - Teens In Motion").