Tablet Local

Former Cowboys players encourage kids and adults to stay active

Lori Baldock started her Tuesday in heels, like most weekdays, but about 11 a.m., she swapped the traditional work shoes for a pair of gray and green Adidas running shoes.

Baldock, president of Southwest Bank on Midtown Lane, took a 15-minute break to join the City’s Fit15 walk with former Dallas Cowboys players Charles Haley, a five-time Super Bowl champion; Drew Pearson, a wide receiver; and Jay Novacek, a tight end.

The Cowboys stars joined the FitWorth Healthy City Initiative, Haley said, to encourage kids and adults to stay active and be healthy.

“I believe the issue is being healthy in the mind, body and soul,” Haley said. “We can feed the mind, but the body has to be fit, too. And we get God into these kids’ lives.”

Schools in the area of Green on Magnolia, like Cassata High School, took a break to join in the morning’s festivities, as kids played jump-rope, had their T-shirts signed by the football players and took pictures with everyone from Mayor Betsy Price to Cowboys cheerleaders.

After having her picture taken with Haley, Julia Nolen, an 18-year-old student at Cassata, had to return to school but said it was a fun break in the day.

The Fit15 program encourages area employers to offer 15-minute activity breaks for employees, with Price often taking part in the corporate walks.

A walk on the south side came about so smaller businesses and schools could be involved, Price said.

“It helps get your body geared up for the rest of the day. It helps get your mind focused; it is a healthy habit,” Price said.

The Cowboys took part because they understand the need for fitness in both adults and children.

“As a professional athlete, back in the day, we knew the importance of continuing to be fit so that we could be out there to play each and every day in our football career,” Pearson said. “But in our lives after football, we know the importance of continuing to stay fit and continuing to stay healthy.”

He urged kids in the crowd to get away from computers and video games and “sweat a little, and have fun doing it.”

Haley encouraged kids to inspire their parents and families to take walks and be healthier.

The FitWorth program also includes Worth Eating, which promotes nutrition, access and education; Fit365, an online tool to track activity, weight loss and meals; and FitWorth Kids, which included 30,000 children in the FitWorth Kids Challenge.