Monday, July 28, 2008

Kids Find The Fun In Working Out

Many Young People Are Discovering The Benefits Of Getting Up Off The Sofa

“Kids just want to have fun. Exercise isn't usually on the ‘fun list,’ but the lure of modern, high-tech workout equipment along with input from active, electrolyte-chugging parents, has been changing some young minds. The second-fastest-growing demographic among health club members is ages 6-17, according to the trade group International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. Only fitness-minded baby boomers beat out the kids in membership growth. ‘Parents are bringing children to the health club, and a lot of the newer equipment is from video gaming and virtual fitness,’ says Rosemary Lavery, spokeswoman for the Boston-based IHRSA. ‘That makes the activities fun.’ Unfortunately, most of the news about young people and exercise is bad. A new study, which tracked children in the United States for six years (2000-06), was published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Among findings: While 90 percent of 9-year-olds exercise a couple of hours most days, fewer than 3 percent of 15-year-olds do the same. What's the secret to convincing more teens and 'tweens to get active? Alex Van Dyke's Going Vertical training facility in Sacramento has a kid magnet – the CYBEX Trazer reaction trainer, which transports clients to an interactive virtual world where power, balance, speed and reaction time work the muscles. ‘It's you and the screen controlling the program,’ says Van Dyke, a former NFL player. ‘Young and old enjoy it. It's animated, like a game, and it's fun.’”

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