Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fitness Funhouse: Enercise Kids’ Gym Opening Saturday

“Call it a 21st century fitness funhouse. When Enercise opens its doors Saturday in Minnetonka, owners Judi and Tony Shink will be debuting what may be the metro area’s first gymnasium designed exclusively for kids. The 1,900-square-foot fitness facility is targeted at kids ages 6 to 14, equipped with exercise stations that combine elements of the old-fashioned school gym with video gaming and computer technology that are designed to give kids a total body workout. Enercise, whose name is derived by combining the words energy and exercise, was born of the Shinks’ desire to start a business in what they believe is an underserved niche: kid exercise. While there are numerous alternatives for adults and families, few are geared exclusively for kids, the couple said. ‘There is not a lot of competition for the kids in the middle or tweeners,’ Judi said. She and Tony said Enercise is meant to get all kids physically active, particularly those who like games or sports but aren’t on teams or don’t excel in athletics. A representative of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) said there are very few kid-only athletic or fitness clubs in the country. One of them is the Neighborhood, a 35,000-square-foot facility run by the Rochester Athletic Club in Rochester, Minn., said IHRSA spokeswoman Kara Thompson Shemin. That facility includes child-sized fitness equipment, soccer fields, basketball courts, an artificial-ice hockey rink, a miniature golf course, and interactive fitness equipment. A growing number of health and fitness clubs are integrating some type of children’s activities into their overall programming, with more than 3,000 fitness clubs across the U.S. offering kids-only sections, Thompson Shemin said.”

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