The secret to motivating kids to get healthy

SPRINGFIELD, Mo One hundred Springfield students are gearing up for an event called, "Paint the Run." On this Fit Life, we check out their training. And, as Paul Adler found out, the kids are actually having fun.

Running Coach Kevin Zimmerman asks the students, "Any questions about practice today...?"

Then, Kevin, known as Coach Z, tells Paul Adler, "I invest in them... and then, they want to invest back in me... "

As the shoes get laced up, Coach Kevin Zimmerman goes over the game plan for the after-school activity. In the video, you see 5th and 6th graders in SPARC'S Elite Feet program. And, Coach Z is teaching that running is not some kind of punishment.

Kevin says, "When they think of running, they're thinking oh my goodness... you've got to run hard. So, when they come to me, I'm like running's exciting, running is fun. We get to blow off some energy."

So, Coach Z's practice is a fine balance between play and heart pumping exercise like jumping jacks or running up a hill.

Kevin tells runners, "Chins up... looking good."

He's doing something right. Many of these kids are back for the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th year.

Runner Tonni Moll says, "When I'm running, I'm calm and I'm thinking about running and it helps me a lot... "

Runner Colby Goddard says, "Once you get done you just feel good inside and you get a workout too."

Paul Adler reports, "Alright, so, practice ends with a game called Capture The Cone. What do you think about Capture The Cone? Do you like this game? Tonni says, "Yeah." Paul asks, "Why?" Tonni says, "You get to go versus other people." Paul responds, "Alright, so Capture The Cone ends the practice..."

The young runners think all they're doing is playing a game. But, they're actually getting a bit of sprint workout in, with short bursts of speed.

Kevin Zimmerman wrapping up practice, "Bring it in... jerseys..."

In the end, they're all winners. And, who knows, one day, they could be on the high school team.

Kevin Zimmerman says, "I'll see you guys next week..."