Local gym inspires kids to trade handheld devices for healthy habits

It's always a challenge getting kids away from iPads and cell phones. It's a bigger challenge to get them to be active. A local gym is doing both and mixing in some fun.

SAN ANTONIO - For some parents, it's tough to get the kids away from the iPads and cell phones.

We found a local gym that helps make working out fun for the kids, separating them from electronics for at least 45 minutes a day.

In Leon Valley, off Bandera and Eckhert, sits Warhouse Strength & Conditioning. One of several workout classes they offer is “functional fitness" for kids.

"There's really no age limit. We really don't put an age limit on it. It's more coordination, how mature the kid is. Can they understand what doing a bear crawl is? Can they understand what hands, feet, and toes are?" said Warhouse Strength & Conditioning Coach Bobby Avila.

The classes start with a warmup. For example, a short jog outside followed by stretching and lunges.

Then, the workout begins.

"[I like doing] pushups, the running,” 6-year-old Julian Montoya III said.

"I enjoy burpees and sit-ups. Those are my two favorite exercises,” 11-year-old Elyse Medina said.

"The jumping jacks, really easy, burpees. Learn them!" 9-year-old Aaron Montoya said.

What is a burpee?

"It's really easy. It's like a push-up, but you have to put your legs in and out, then when you jump up, clap!" said Aaron, who helped demonstrate the exercises for the class along with his brother, Julian.

The workouts are team-based, and the moves are simple.

The exercises aren't rigorous. They don’t use heavy weights. It's all about technique and learning what their bodies can do.

"This helps them with the sports and conditioning, so when they're out on the field, I know they're already prepared conditioning-wise. They know how to eat healthy. They know they need to stay hydrated,” said Veronica Montoya, whose sons attend the functional fitness classes to prepare them for football season.

You don't have to play a sport to participate. Medina says that she comes to class to stay in shape.

"If I go to PE class at school and I'm running, I'm not tired,” Medina noted. “I'm like, 'This is a piece of cake!'"

Each class ends with a game for the kids. During KENS 5’s visit, the children ended the workout with a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose.”

"Anybody can do this at home,” Aaron said. “You can do this in the backyard, you can do this anywhere you would like, but watch out for the TV screen!"

It's physical training, but also mental training for the kids. Avila says that it’s also a great way to make friends.

"Meet new kids, just get them out of the house and not getting into the tablets, the Xboxes, and all the video games, really get them into something active,” Avila said. “Just like adults, they go through changes and they see like, 'I can run faster!' Or in football, 'I made more touchdowns because of class because I could do more! They couldn't tackle me.’”

If you're wondering how much the classes cost, it's $30 a month for members and $60 for non-members for two classes per week.

Coach Avila says that with a little dedication and fun, these kids could soon trade in their handheld device for healthy habits.

"Being active, getting sweaty, getting a lot of high fives, just self-motivating so they can leave here and feel like, 'I did something great,’” Avila said.

For more information on Warhouse Strength & Conditioning, you can visit their official website here.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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