RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, GERMANY -- In an effort to get families fit and to spend more quality time together, fitness professionals at the Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany have created new fitness programming.
Renee Champagne, a personal trainer who has worked with kids for more than 16 years, created new classes at the Ramstein Youth Center and the Vogelweh Community Center. Classes include Core Conditioning for New Moms (for babies 6 weeks to 3 months old), Mommy and Me Fit and Yoga (for kids 2 to 4 years old), Sunshine Class (for children with special needs from 6 to 12 years old), Yoga Fitness (for kids 8 to 12 years old), and Teen Core Conditioning (for kids 12 to 18 years old).
Champagne says fitness classes involving parents and children are important because participants are able to spend quality time together, fit in a workout and have fun.
“The kids follow their parents' lead,” Champagne says. “If we are rolling around on the ground, the parents need to be rolling on the ground with us.”
In all her classes, Champagne mixes fitness activities with games and skills. Games are especially important in the classes for children with special needs. From catching and throwing a foam ball to shirt-buttoning relays, children are working on their motor skills, getting exercise and having fun at the same time, she says.
The bonding experience in the classes can start as early as 6 weeks old. For example, the core conditioning class gives new mothers the chance to bond with their child while focusing on core conditioning. The class includes floor exercises and other safe and effective ways to exercise with a newborn.
“These classes create a bonding time between children and their parents, lower stress, encourage fitness and a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly, they are fun,” she said.