Up North: AICHO community gets creative with fitness

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: November 19, 2020 07:57 PM
Created: November 17, 2020 07:59 PM

As the pandemic continues, so do efforts to move towards distance learning.

For some, this means a loss of time designated for fitness.

The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in Duluth is utilizing space on their rooftop and in a basement gymnasium to assure community members are still getting good exercise. 

"We get the kids that are part of our program that live in the building into the gym a couple times a week when they're in-program," said Katie Schmitz, the Children's Program Coordinator at AICHO.

Schmitz said, thanks their indoor gym, AICHO will be able to expand fitness opportunities for distance learners in their community during upcoming winter months.

"To keep your body active, [it's] really important to move your body and to stay healthy in this time," said Schmitz regarding the pandemic.

AICHO has already got a lot of good use out of the gym since starting distance learning programs in September.

"We've been doing badminton and volleyball," said Schmitz. "We have a tumbling mat that the kids have been playing with, and scooters and roller skates."

At the start of November, AICHO hosted Fit Week. "Fit Week is a national effort put on by the Notah Begay III Foundation to get specifically native kids out and active," explained Schmitz.

Around 20 kids participated in the event to kick off Native American Heritage Month. 

"We set up a big obstacle course with fitness stations in our gym, and we had families come down one household at a time to participate," said Schmitz.

Moving forward, Schmitz said AICHO will continue to find creative and safe ways to get kids moving while they're learning at home.


Alicia Tipcke

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