|Spin classes have long been a favorite of physically active adults, especially in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York. But Peloton Studio recently opened its doors to offer the cycle-based workouts to fitness-minded youngsters as well.
The Studio offers free after-school classes to kids twice a week for 30 minutes each. The goal is to get kids up and off the couch to start early on lifelong fitness decisions.
In addition to regularly scheduled classes, they also offer sessions to young cyclists from Star Track Cycling, an organization that aims to get children and teens interested in track cycling.
Kids’ fitness has long been a hot button topic as more government and medical officials try to push for better nutrition in schools and more opportunities for physical activity during the day.
“[Parents should] encourage children to be more active by offering incredible growth opportunities hidden in fun, creative, and exciting activities,” said Eric Colton, owner of Fitness by the Sea Kid’s Summer Camp. “[They should] also encourage children to ‘learn by doing’ and serve as mentors and participants during these activities.”
But it’s not only health that should be on parents’ minds when examining their children’s daily habits, says Micah Maxwell, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Muncie, Indiana. When kids stay physically active and have a healthy diet, they are more likely to perform well in school, maintain academic success, and show improvements in their self esteem.
CrossFit, which uses a WOD, or “workout of the day,” develops strength and agility training and allows individuals to work at their own pace. But even CrossFit gyms, or “boxes,” as they’re called, have been open to children in other settings, too.
Seaside CrossFit in Hanson, Massachusetts, recently held a contest that put kids through three WODs as a sort of tournament. Adults kept score to track each child’s progress in the workouts, but most of the emphasis was on keeping order and making sure that fun was had by all.
And to make the event more kid-friendly, the gym’s owners used a zoological theme that had kids competing with frog jumps, bear crawls, and a weight-lifting exercise that required an “angry gorilla chest.”
But not all exercise programs are about competition. Kids’ yoga classes, which have popped up all over the country in recent years, have also been brought to schools, like PS 205 in Bayside, Queens, in New York.
One local yoga studio, Little Flower Yoga, brings yoga to kids to get them to relax and connect their mind and body.
The fourth grade participants said that the activity helped them with everything from reducing headaches to improving flexibility for soccer and other sports.