Andrew Luck, Riley lead way for healthier lifestyle for kids

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck starts training camp with the team later this month, but before that, he hopes to inspire Indiana kids to live a healthier lifestyle.

Luck took the field at Indiana University’s Memorial Stadium on Tuesday. He has partnered with Riley Hospital for Children to take a fitness and nutrition program on the road.

"I know growing up it was important for me to be outside and playing and be healthy," Luck said.

The program, called Change the Play, offered hundreds of children the chance to take part in the eight weekly challenges including everything from stretching to proper diets to getting fit. Tuesday’s camp was the first of two summer camps.

"Like Riley, I think we both have a passion for health and well-being, so I figured why not partner and start this Change the Play program," Luck said.

Indiana ranks eighth in the nation for obesity and doctors are trying to stop the dangerous trend.

"When I trained in pediatrics 20 years ago, we didn't study kids with joint problems and high blood pressure and things we're seeing now because of the time they spend being obese," said Riley Hospital for Children President Dr. Jeff Sperring.

Experts at Riley said that parents must set an example for a healthy lifestyle, but parents know that is not always as easy as it sounds.

"Even Grayson, my son, hates going outside to play unless he's with a group of friends, so we try to continuously have people at our house to make sure they go out and have fun," parent Gabriella Humphreys said.

Luck and the doctors at Riley hope to teach the hundreds of children that exercise not only leads to a healthy life, but it is also fun.

The second Change the Play camp is Thursday in West Lafayette. In September, Luck and Riley will launch the next Change the Play Challenge for kids and families across Indiana.

Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt

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