WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The White Plains YMCA is taking a stand to promote healthier children. Better yet, the Y’s program will be included in the cost of membership.
The Y is introducing an 8-week personal fitness program for children ages 10-13. The program permits children to meet with a healthy lifestyles professional once a week. Children will be taught how to properly use equipment, and recommendations will be made for exercise routines and classes.
What’s more, children will receive nutrition counseling and will work with their trainer to assess and evaluate goals and progress during the course of the program.
The course is similar to the 12-week program that is included with membership for adults. Children who complete the program will receive a band after the eight weeks that will distinguish them as having successfully completed the program, and they will be permitted to use the fitness facility without supervision.
“This is encouraging them to start their own fitness journey,’’ said Heather Bell, Associate Executive Director.
Bell said the Y is also adding four more youth specific classes: Spinning®, Body Conditioning and Strength, family Zumba® and Cardio Combat, which is similar to kickboxing. All are free with membership.
Bell and the Y staff created the fitness program to embrace the organization’s mission. “The Y’s key values are to provide the community with youth development, social responsibility, and healthy living,’’ Bell said. “Last year, I was thinking what do we do for youth? We don’t have a lot included with membership. If they were with parents, they could come in and use the basketball court or participate in the free family swim. But there was not a lot kids could do for free. So our team has worked tirelessly to make this happen!”
The Y is also opening up its group exercise programs to children as young as 8 years old. It also offers free babysitting for parents. “Now the child can take Zumba® while the parent is taking the yoga class, and the two year old is being cared for free of charge.’’ Bell said. “We want to encourage healthy families.”
Childhood obesity continues to confound American families, in part because many health care facilities do little to encourage low-cost programs for children. “Who’s doing anything about it?” Bell said. “People all talk a lot. Now we’re going to walk the walk.”
The program begins Feb. 1, and families that join the Y in February will have the joiner’s fee of $150 waived.
For more information, contact the White Plains Y at 914-949-8030 www.whiteplains.ymca-cnw.org or visit the facility at 250 Mamaroneck Ave.