ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Fitness Friday" series on WJON, we help keep kids active with the BLEND Fit Kids Club Series.

BLEND (Better Living: Exercise and Nutrition Daily) has been fighting to reduce childhood obesity in the St. Cloud area since 2006 and today (Friday) kicks off a series of fun runs.

Jodi Gertken is the Director of Wellness at CentraCare Health. She says BLEND came up with the Fit Kids Club series to not only keep kids active but have something fun the whole family can do.

"We wanted to encourage families to stay active not just for one day but for an entire lifetime, because every parent wants to help their kids be healthy," says Gertken.

The series offer 24 races over the next eight months. Blend Program Director Dawn Moen says many of the races are free and no athletic background skills are needed.

"We ask families to pick four events to do with their kids and get out there, be active, train with their kids and be rewarded for their hard work," says Moen.

Gertken says along with the races BLEND works with schools and parents to provide the tools needed to help make better choices and live a healthier life.

"We've worked a lot on creating a healthier school environment, we hold walk-a-thon's for fundraisers where students walk during the school day and the school keeps the proceeds," says Gertken.

The BLEND Fit Kids Series can be found all around Central Minnesota. Moen says many event allow for same day registration and the series is all about having fun.

"It's more about the experience and making it a positive experience so it is something the child adapts for a lifelong behavior," says Moen.

The first race of the series begins tonight (Friday) with the Earth Day Run at St. Cloud State University. To see a full list of races visit www.blendcentralmn.org.

Kids and parents take off for the Earth Day Run (Photo: BLEND)