A lot of times adults don't give kids enough credit. For instance, Emily Allen knows exactly why it's important for her to be at the "Kidz Pump" class at Altoona Campus. "Well, I don't go outside and play very much so this is a way to get exercise!"
Getting active is more important than ever - in the last thirty years, the number of obese children in the United States has more than doubled. "My goal, because I love kids, is to create those habits as young as you can," explains instructor Stephanie Hilsabeck, "getting kids active and being a role model as a parent is important. I'm trying to show them that exercise can be fun." It's obviously working. Stephanie's daughter and her friends view workouts not as work, but as play. "She has a whole room of exercise equipment," says Piper McAlister, "it's so fun to go to that room!"
In the group fitness room, Stephanie has kids doing basic moves like hamstring curls and high knees, along with more complicated sports moves that improve speed and agility. "We like it because it gives us really good exercise," says Seth Franklin. "Yeah," agrees his sister Haley, "we get challenged a lot in here, pushed to our limits!" Seth and Haley are regulars, along with cousins Emily Allen and Cole Chittenden. "Ummmmmm....well, this is the second time," they tell us. When we ask if they like the class they nod their heads and smile. "Mmmmmmm-hmmmmm!"
It's easy to see why they like the class when Stephanie cranks up Miley Cyrus. "It's gonna be Party in the USA, we all know that song, right?" Dancing doesn't feel much like work, but this routine gets little hearts pumping. There are big moves like jacks, kicks and squats and soon we're all sweating and there are high fives all around. "Nice job," says Stephanie, "very nice job!"
"Kidz Pump" winds down like any other fitness class with stretching and some relaxation. "As adults we need time to unwind and relax and so do kids!" Stephanie explains. They get to do that here, and learn lessons that will improve their lives. "Hopefully they're developing habits that they'll carry into adulthood."
The Altoona Campus is located at 1500 8th Street SW in Altoona. Call 967-0788 for more information or check out www.altoonacampus.com. The next class for kids is "Combat Conditioning" and it begins October 26th at 5:45pm!