Fitness fun for kids
Photo by Guillory Photography LLC
Race like a rocket
At the 11th annual Rocketkidz LSU triathlon July 26, 200 kids age 6-14 will go for the glory in swimming, biking and running events. Racers will compete in age divisions with out-of-this-world names like Sputnik, Apollo and Saturn. “By getting kids involved in sports that are motivating and fun, they seek exercise without it being a chore,” says Rocketkidz Foundation founder Susan Hayden. “When they cross the finish line, they know they have overcome a physical challenge, and that little success—on the heels of hard work—is a great life experience.”
Family health has long been the focus of the YMCA of the Capital Area, where a host of fun classes give kids alternatives to on-field sports. Kid Fit helps youngsters improve balance and motor skills, while Family Fit uses special child-centric strength equipment. Some branches also offer family versions of popular programs like Zumba, indoor cycling and even swimming lessons. “The response has been great,” says YMCA marketing director Kristen Hogan. “People know they can count on the Y to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for their families to enjoy healthy-living activities together.”
Strike a pose
“Time out” takes on a fresh meaning at the new Kids Yoga Lab, which teaches children the importance of taking breaks as a way to release tension and improve mental and physical wellbeing. The long list of available classes emphasizes improving flexibility, balance and strength while bolstering self-soothing skills. Toddlers are guided through fun poses, breathing exercises, songs and stories; school-age kids focus on getting the wiggles out or using their breath to calm themselves. There’s even a “YogArt!” course that adds creative thinking to the mix.
All in the family
Health clubs aren’t just for grown-ups anymore, as fans of FamilyFit Athletics can attest. Aimed at developing athletes of all ages, the center encourages families to train together and motivate each other to achieve fitness goals. Family partner workout classes are offered for all ages; there are also SportFit classes aimed at helping teens and preteens improve their athletic performance, as well as KidFit workouts that include discussions about healthy living. For a more targeted approach, personal trainers are also on hand to guide participants toward specific goals.
Best foot forward
Kick off a new family pastime with footgolf, a fun game that combines the strategy of golf with the athleticism of soccer. Now offered at BREC’s City Park and J.S. Clark golf courses, the game’s objective is to get a soccer ball from marked teeing grounds into special footgolf holes with the lowest number of kicks possible. “It’s a great and easy family activity,” says BREC publicity and marketing manager Tara Brown. “We are trying to encourage more children to come try out this new sport.” Kids can take advantage of a discounted junior rate, and lessons may be available in the fall.
In Exerfit’s ExerKIDS programs, the only person your child will compete against is himself. The activities are designed to encourage kids age 3-12 to set goals and improve upon their own achievements. Hour-long classes combine cardio, hand-eye coordination, balance and motor-skill development, with a dash of nutrition info thrown in for good measure. The facility also offers adult exercise classes, so parents and their kids can work out at the same time, same place.