Perfect Summer Fit for the Kidlets
This young Westlake couple devotes their professional energy and passion to getting kids active and healthy.
If you’re looking for a way to get your kids moving this summer, you need to meet Paul “Theo” Theodore, and his wife, Amber.
The 20-something couple - owners of group and personal training company Fit Me Up - is kicking off the first of its two four-week sessions for kids ages 4-18 on June 13 at Grace Baptist Church on Center Ridge Road.
Their mighty mission? To get kids engaged in physical activity and get them healthy. How cool are they?!
“We love kids; it’s our passion,” said Theo, adding that he and his wife decided to start their company right after the birth of their 13-month-old son, Giovanni. “We decided to make it our business so we never feel like we are working a day in our life and we don’t. We love doing it.”
Last year the couple, both youth fitness specialists, held a minicamp in their Westlake backyard for about 10 neighborhood kids. This year, they’ve secured their church, where they use the gym and outdoor space and accommodate several age groups including those 4-5, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-17.
“It’s all about impacting as many kids as we can and it’s more than just fitness training, even though we’re having fun and exercising, we’re always talking to them about our five key principles: humility, hard work, helping others, self-discipline and self-confidence,” Theo said. “We do believe that fitness is about changing who you are as a person and making you a better person in all aspects of life.”
Focusing on all body weight exercise, the couple has some sure-fire ways engage even the most skeptical or out-of-shape camper. Think obstacle courses, fun fitness games such as sprint tag, gorilla tag, sharks and minnows, red light –green light with lunges, kangaroo hops, Spiderman walks, bear crawls and crab crawls. Every exercise is modifiable and designed for all levels, Theo said.
“Childhood obesity has reach epidemic proportions with factors such as fast food, computers, TV, video games, all contributing to the problem,” he said. “Honestly, it doesn’t need to be that way. We are the adults; it’s our obligation to make sure we are taking care of our kids and to give them an opportunity to be healthy.”
The statistics make your heart pound: Today about one of every three children is overweight or obese, and overweight kids have a 70-80 percent chance of struggling with their weight their entire lives.
But fitness and physical activity habits established in early in life are key predictors of health in adulthood.
“We have to set that example to get them healthy and to show them that they don’t have to be eating bad or sitting on the couch all day and live that lifestyle,” Theo said. “We need to redesign the way we live in this world and show people that being physical is actually a fun and great thing. It’s a necessity; it’s not really a choice. You’ve got to do it.”
Theo said he trains like a kid at heart. He runs to the Westlake Recreation Center and uses the playground equipment to break a sweat doing chin up and pull ups on the monkey bars, and interval training by running up the hill and dropping down to do pushups.
“We’ve got kids that have never worked out a day in their life and they are so inspirational. They find a new love and they get so into it,” he said. “For the kids it’s so important to get them used to controlling their body first before you start exposing them to equipment and weights. We focus on what we call athletic movements that get their bodies used to controlling their own resistance, building coordination, balance and systemic strength.”
The Fit Me Up Summer Camp program is designed with safety and systems developed by the world’s leading youth fitness organization, the International Youth Conditioning Association, Theo said.
Each age group will meet twice a week for 90-minute sessions. The first session runs from June 13-July 7 and the second session is from July 20-August 22. Each four week session costs $125, or register for all eight weeks for $225. Refer a friend and get 10 percent off. And sign up by this Friday, May 26, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive four weeks free.