Gym Ratz: A place just for kids - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Gym Ratz: A place just for kids

By Rachel Leigh email

WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX) - From Bally's to LA Fitness to Ultima, as adults, we have lots of choices when it comes to finding a gym. But what about kids? Here's a gym tailored just for them.

Kelly Wiener, Gym Ratz, explains, "We're unique in the fact we actually have weight training equipment which is safe for children 6 and above."

Kelly Wiener and Kristy Prince are who you'd call 'gym ratz'. "We worked out constantly."

They're also best friends who share a love for kids, so they decided to become certified personal trainers specializing in children's fitness. "There wasn't a place for children, other than sports, there are things, but some people don't fit into those niches. We wanted to fill that need and provide a place for them in a positive environment."

With pressures starting so early to look a certain way and be a certain size, Kelly and Kristy decided to focus on self-esteem. "We don't weigh them. We don't body test them; that's not the relationship Kristy and I chose to have with the children."

Rachel: "What are the results you are seeing from the kids who come here?"

Kelly: "We hear things such as schoolwork is improving, their focus. They're getting their work done to come into the gym. Their self-esteem is improving - going out and playing with kids in the neighborhood. Some of the kids would have never had done that in the past."

Kelly's and Kristy's training is one even adults should follow. Kids start with stretching. After that, they either have free time or do weight training mixed with cardio. "The kids are doing different things. Some of the kids are on free time, so they did their weight training and cardio circuit yesterday. So, they're here for free time which means they get to do any of the cardio workouts we have."

There's also a certified dietician who helps kids, along with their parents, make wise choices when it comes to food.

Rachel: "What are some of the trends you've been seeing in kids and their eating habits?"

Christie Caggiani, dietician, says, "Really extremes - either trying to control it too much or parents trying to control them and their food too much which always has an opposite effect, or they're really having no ideas of what guidelines are. Not knowing that if we eat on a regular schedule pattern, we can trust our bodies."

Christie says the best advice is basic. "When we start calling it good, we load it. And, then, we get our kids to eat based on guilt or not guilt. And, then, it sets them up for a pattern of dieting throughout their lives."

And don't think kids aren't the only ones who enjoy Gym Ratz.

Yvonne Wollisdon, mother of two, says, "I can drop them off and run a few errands."

One more great appeal for parents!

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