Engaging Youth in Fitness

Our own Jen McCook was interviewed by Club Solutions this month, to give her expert advice on Youth Programming.  Get Jen talking about empowering healthy living in youth and you’ll quickly learn she has a passion that can’t be kindled! We’re so proud to be partnering with Jen McCook and MOVE ME!™ to bring the world’s first virtual group fitness programming made JUST FOR KIDS!

Club Solutions: What are 2 to 3 things you’d like facilities to know about youth fitness?
Jen: As the rate of childhood obesity continues to soar, youth fitness programs are desperately needed. Children are spending more time “plugged in” to computers and screens and more than 80% of adolescents do not get enough aerobic physical activity to meet health guidelines for youth, according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Fitness facilities have a responsibility and an opportunity to help remedy and prevent this epidemic before it causes a lifetime of health problems for our future generation. Fitness programs designed specifically for kids are crucial in the fight against childhood obesity.

It’s important to remember that kids need to be trained differently than adults. Their bodies, and their attention span, are not fully developed. Utilizing a youth-centric program that has variety, is kid-relatable and FUN, is key to maintaining a successful, ongoing kid’s activity program.

In a world where our kids are sensory bombarded on a daily basis, a successful youth fitness program does more than improve the physical. Being active turns their brain on, improves their ability to concentrate, and leads to healthier habits for a lifetime. A kids fitness program will also empower self-esteem, build self-confidence, encourage individuality, and foster social skills. It’s never too early to start inspiring kids to be active.

Club Solutions: Do you think all clubs should offer some sort of youth fitness offering? If so, why? What are the benefits?
Jen: Absolutely! As a mother of three, I know what it takes to get kids out the door, make time for yourself without guilt, all while staying motivated to power through your own workout.  Almost sounds impossible, right?  Well, imagine having your kids inspire you to go to the gym instead of complaining about going and sitting in child care! Youth fitness programming is creating a healthy and fit family lifestyle that is contagious. When youth start enjoying fitness, they become the role model and fitness leaders for their parents.

Club Solutions: Some clubs may have trouble developing youth fitness programming. How can this challenge be solved?
Jen: Make it convenient and make sure the content is fun for kids of multiple age levels with lots of variety! Lean on well-established companies in the industry who already have resources in this category. MOVE ME! powered by Wellbeats, offers a wonderful solution. We’ve developed incredible programming that’s both kid-inspired and kid-approved! We’ve chosen to use tools that aren’t necessarily standardized adult fitness equipment to promote hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills, but most importantly, these tools turn every session into “exercise in disguise.”

Your program becomes successful when parents see how much their kids enjoy game-like skill building, and when kids learn to love fitness, love themselves, and discover their capabilities!

MOVE ME! Sample:

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