By: Louise Weadock, president and founder of WeeZee World of Yes I Can!
When most adults think about joining a gym, they think about working out on a treadmill and lifting weights. But for kids, it’s a whole different world made up of play, fun and exercise. Special gyms for kids are popping up all over the country and memberships are surging including the one atWeeZee World of Yes I Can! in Chappaqua, NY.
The benefits of having a child participate in a club of this type are numerous – especially during the cold, winter months. This is the time when kids can become sedentary, gain weight and develop hard-to-break habits that may continue into the spring and summer months. A lack of fitness and exercise can result in a total depletion of energy, which can carry over into the child’s overall academic performance and social relationships.
Our WeeZee gym offers children a chance to participate in group exercise and games that are good for their fitness and also helps to maintain a healthy weight. As long as kids are having fun, they don’t view fitness activities as “exercise.” So, the best way to help children stay healthy and fit is to make sure that they engage in activities they enjoy and let them have a great time!
There’s some very effective equipment and technology now available in select kid’s gyms, which can even help kids “warm up” if they’re planning to go out for a team sport. Here’s a rundown of some of the best performance training equipment around, which helps to condition muscles in preparation for any team sport:
- To help kids with their reaction times by using key muscles in the body, WeeZee offers the famous Makoto, which is a computer activated target system in which the player has to hit moving, colorful targets. The Makoto is a favorite to train top athletes and U.S. military Special Forces to improve their speed and reaction time, but the concept appeals to kids of all ages — from toddlers to teens. You listen for the tone (to identify which tower), move to the tower and tap it as quickly as possible. The player is scored on accuracy and reaction time. The brain benefits of playing Makoto have been proven to increase math and reading speeds, and there are special games to help players with ADD and ADHD to improve their focus and concentration. When Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets wants to train his focus and concentration in order to shoot three point baskets, he uses the Makoto. We put this same technology to use with the kids in our gym to help them develop better athletic skills. Children at WeeZee can literally train like the pros as they use this state-of-the-art machine that uses cross-body movements to improve visual, cardiovascular, and neurological performance.
- The much talked about sports technology only found in the fitness rooms of the Pro-Ballplayers — the Cyber Sport Stall, XerTrainers andBatak have been described as “a giant Wii!” Participants play sport games against a giant screen that is accurately able to simulate their performance on the field, as if in ‘real life.’ Kids love the realistic nature of the game and find it easy to translate that practice session onto the actual ball fields. With the Cyber Sport Wall, kids unknowingly receive the incredible benefits associated with Cyber Sports such as enhanced memory, improved concept integration and critical thinking capability. Cyber Sports produces neurotropic factors that enhance peripheral vision and develops balance and coordination, as well as long-term learning and athletic skills.
- The Vibration Station (a Vibrating Train and a Station) is a great place to stop and get your bearings with huge vibrating plates that ignite the low-charging neuro-systems to fire or help those tense tonic muscles to relax.
- Brain Bikes allow you to measure and compare brain utilization while biking trails, hunting for dragons or doing brain puzzles! Biking encourages our brain to think at a higher level with both sides of our cranial hemispheres. The bike is programmed with a 3D program that continuously analyzes the child’s performance, and then customizes the training based on his particular skill. This reinforces the child’s fitness success with real-time feedback of their performance on the bike. You can also review your child’s progress and achievements anytime on a PC or iPhone!
- Balance and Core equipment, Indoor Surfing – in the winter? We feature an Xtreme Board Combo – snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing – that come together on an inflatable half pipe. A big and little kid favorite at every age!!
- Dance and movement is also a great way to improve fitness. We feature a Dance Music and Sound Studio. This popular room invites every child to Be a Star!
Whether it’s strength training or a cardio workout, kids need to develop a regular routine and a formalized fitness plan to stay healthy and to spend time away from video games and television. If possible, kids really need a place to call their very own; where they can learn how to exercise, warm up or train before playing a team sport, as well as to just have some fun playing with other kids. Ages 2-12, is the very best time to start learning about fitness, staying active and developing good living habits for life!
WeeZee will be hosting a Fitness Night for kids and parents on Friday, January 25th at 6PM. The event will feature boot camp, zumba, karate, obstacle courses, games, dancing and more. The event is free to members and a $20 donation for non-members. To RSVP, please call 914-752-2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.