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Rangers, MCA Fitness All-Stars hold rally

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Wednesday afternoon, Rangers pitcher Nick Gardewine taught nearly 100 Arlington fifth-grade students how important proper nutrition and fitness is to every lifestyle, whether you're a professional athlete or an elementary school student.

Gardewine, joined by broadcaster Dave Raymond, Rangers Captain, a Medical City Arlington physical therapist and the Arlington Fire Department participated in a fitness rally at Hill Elementary.

ARLINGTON -- Wednesday afternoon, Rangers pitcher Nick Gardewine taught nearly 100 Arlington fifth-grade students how important proper nutrition and fitness is to every lifestyle, whether you're a professional athlete or an elementary school student.

Gardewine, joined by broadcaster Dave Raymond, Rangers Captain, a Medical City Arlington physical therapist and the Arlington Fire Department participated in a fitness rally at Hill Elementary.

"Programs like this are really cool. I think it's fun to interact with the kids and just get young kids excited to be healthy," Gardewine said. "It is really important [to learn about a healthy lifestyle]. Once you instill that, when they're young, they'll just continue when they're older."

The Medical City Arlington (MCA) Fitness All-Stars program is designed to promote healthy life choices and regular exercise in order to prevent childhood obesity. The program, incorporated in all fifth grade Arlington Independent School District (AISD) curriculums, provides physical education classes with educational tools for children and families to maintain healthy and active lifestyles.

The rally taught everything from the importance of a balanced diet to ideas for active and healthy hobbies.

Tweet from @Rangers: 🎶 Hey now you���re an (MCA Fitness) All-🌟@NGardewine12 , @daveraymond4 & @rangerscaptain shared the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle with local 5th graders today! pic.twitter.com/5w6vTI4GDI

"The great thing about these events is, they'll go home and talk about it with their brothers, sisters, parents, and it's always a good reminder [to stay healthy]," Raymond said.

This marked the 10th year the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Medical City Arlington have partnered to present the fitness rally as well as teach health and fitness through interactive learning aids at elementary schools.

Alysia Salyer, a physical education teacher at Hill Elementary, implements the MCA fitness program into her everyday curriculum. The program helps add inspiration for students to stay healthy.

"I promote fitness and wellness with the kids, and they've been really inspired because they know it's not just what they do in physical education, but it's kind of an all-around thing," Salyer said.

Salyer, who is in her 10th year at Hill Elementary, works with MCA and the Rangers to honor students that exemplify healthy lifestyles, habits and demonstrate leadership in the classroom.

"I want them to recognize how important it is to have fitness a part of their regular lifestyle," Salyer said. "Not just in school, but outside of school, and making good choices for nutrition and their health overall so that it can last a lifetime."

Madison Pelletier is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington.

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