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After-school program teaches fitness, healthy habits

January 20, 2012

Darek Morris, Fitness Forum personal trainer, encourages Andries Mechling as they run together at LifePlex Wednesday.

PLYMOUTH — For the kids in the Adventures after School program at Fitness Forum, afternoons aren’t just for hanging out and relaxing in front of the TV.
“We try to get them doing some kind of (physical) activity when they are here with us,” said Julie Stauffer, who co-leads the group with husband Rich Stauffer.
The Stauffers take time to assist their charges in grabbing a quick snack and completing their homework at the beginning of the Monday through Friday program, then they move on to the fun stuff. Recently, Fitness Forum personal trainer Darek Morris has been helping the group of elementary age kids learn some basic facts about fitness.
“Kids in this age group, they think of working out and they think, ‘Boring!’” explained Morris. “I want them to know that working out is what you make it — it can be fun.”
Morris showed the group Wednesday how to do lunges, push-ups, and jumping jacks. They also learned to check their heart rate after exercise.
“(Exercising) helps increase blood flow to the brain,” said Morris. “(And) that increased blood flow helps the kids to focus on doing their homework later.”
Adventures after School is from 3:30 to 6 p.m. each weekday, and the cost is $10 per day or $40 per week per child. To inquire about enrollment, contact Fitness Forum at 574-936-2333.

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