The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends 60 minutes of exercise per day for kids, with three days per week including a vigorous-intensity muscle and bone strengthening activity.
It is a sign of the times that we even have to make this a conscious effort for our children. Kids today are surrounded by technology that often takes the place of good old-fashioned physical activity. While sports groups are always a great source of physical activity, there has been a recent trend toward a variety of exercise programs made just for kids!
Here is a look at 10 options and resources located here locally in St. Augustine and throughout Northeast Florida.
1. THE LITTLE GYM
The Little Gym offers several programs including a Parent/Child class for children 4 months to 3 years; gymnastics for 3-12-year-olds; sports skills for 3-6-year-olds; dance for 3-12-year-olds; and karate for 4-12-year-olds. The Little Gym is located at 4479 US Highway 17, Suite 4 in Fleming Island. Check the website for class schedules: www.thelittlegym.com/orangeparkFL
2. MY GYM
Eight different age categories are offered for children ranging from 2 months to 12 years. Structured, age-appropriate classes incorporate dance, relays, games, gymnastics, sports and music. My Gym is located at 10950 San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville. Check the website for class schedules: www.mygym.com/mandarin
3. FIRST COAST YMCA
The St. Augustine Branch at 500 Pope Road has Kid Fit Class held on Mondays from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Kids Yoga on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m., in addition to Youth Sports programs. Schedules for other local locations vary by branch. See their website for more details. www.firstcoastymca.org
4. THE EXCHANGE
This gym located in the World Golf Village area offers Pre-Teen Fitness for kids ages 9-12 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3:45-4:30 p.m. Classes include dynamic warm-up, skill development, workout, and a skill development game. The Exchange is located at 314 Commerce Lake Drive in St. Augustine. www.theexchange.fitness
5. EASY PEASY KIDS FITNESS FOUNDATION
This local foundation produces and promotes creative fitness events throughout the year to encourage kids to stay active. Check their website for the schedule of events and to join the Easy Peasy Kids Club! www.easypeasyjax.com
6. GIRLS ON THE RUN NORTHEAST FLORIDA
Girls on the Run is a running club for girls in grades 3 through 8. The club meets twice a week after school and teaches a curriculum that combines training for a 5K with life lessons. The Northeast Florida Council includes program sites at numerous local schools. Check the website for a complete listing: www.gotrnefl.org
7. PURE BALANCE
Mommy & Me Yoga is for walking children through age 5 on Wednesdays from 9:00-9:45 a.m. Young Children’s Yoga is for ages 3-6 on Mondays from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and Kids Yoga is for ages 6-10 on Tuesdays from 3:45-5:00 p.m. Pure Balance is located in Palencia at 641 Market St. www.purebalancewellnessandyoga.com
At Thrive Chiropractic, Nutrition & Yoga, Kids Yoga is now available for ages 6-11 on Mondays from 3:30-4:15 p.m. and Wednesday from 2:30-3:15 p.m. Thrive is located at 193 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine (just north of the carousel). www.thrivefl.com
The Crossfit craze isn’t just for grownups anymore! DRiV Fitness offers Kids Crossfit classes for age 6 and up on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-4:00 p.m. DRiV Fitness is located at 235 SR 207, Unit 4B in St. Augustine. www.drivfitness.com
Kids Crossfit classes are held at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 11:05 a.m. on Saturdays. Classes are separated by two age groups: Mids (3rd-5th grade) is a 40 minute class and Teens (6th-12th grade) is a 60 minute class. Strongpoint Crossfit is located at 6695 Colray Ct., Unit 303 in Jacksonville. www.strongpointcrossfit.com