This month, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica will kick off a new fitness and nutrition program to encourage teenagers to set goals and build a positive self-image.

The club will take part in the 12-week Lean Teen Challenge in collaboration with Lean Teen, Inc., a fitness, nutrition, and wellness organization run by professionals who aim to engage teenagers and inspire them to make healthy choices in mind, body and spirit.

Under the program, the teens will be introduced to the fundamentals and framework needed for a lifelong fitness, nutrition, and wellness plan, club officials said.

“Teenagers are entering a transitional period; they are starting to make more and more of life’s decisions – biggies like when, what and how much to eat and where, how and why to exercise?” James Mander, founder and CEO of Lean Teen, Inc. said. “Lean Teen has found that many teenagers want to eat healthier and be more active, but they simply lack the resources to do so. We provide teenagers the knowledge and skills to make these healthy lifestyle choices.”

Lean Teen representatives said that in addition to promoting fitness and nutrition, the challenge creates a sense of self-confidence and pride in teens that they can carry beyond the program.

“We are proud to have Lean Teen as our partner since we have always worked to instill healthy lifestyle habits in our club kids with our Health and Life Skills Program,” said Aaron Young, president and CEO of the Santa Monica club. “Lean Teen is an innovative and engaging way to motivate teens to stay fit and healthy throughout their lives.”

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