Copy of Pasco County gym offers FREE workouts for kids to curb childhood obesity

Posted at 10:23 AM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 10:23:54-04

About two billion people all over the world are overweight or obese, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the United States, we have the greatest number of overweight children and young adults. Experts say it is fueled by poor diets and reduced physical activity. One Pasco County gym is trying to change that statistic. 

The workouts can be challenging, but everyone signed up for the 6:00 p.m. Monday beginner workout class at Life Center Fitness seems eager to jump in.

"Mike mixes it up, sometimes he'll do arms, legs, it's just a fun mix of everything," said David Sirianni, who's lost 10 pounds so far. "I hated the fact that I was big so I come here."

And it's not just kids. Their parents are invited to join in, too.

David's dad, Michael, lost 50 pounds all thanks to Mike Pangburn, who offers and coaches the classes for free.

"It's important for us to find solutions to childhood obesity because otherwise American's are going to be sick, and they're going to get sicker and the generations afterwards are worse off," he said.

The study shows the rate of obesity is climbing faster in children than adults. Pangburn noticed when parents join in on the workouts, they are more likely to keep their kids on the nutrition plan tailored for their children, too.

Which is why he trains hard. David appreciates that.

"I feel good. It's accomplishing. It's fun when you hit the 5 pound mark and then you keep going on," he said.

The classes are sponsored and Pangburn says they could use all the help they can get to keep the workouts going - and these kids feet moving. The sponsorships come with benefits too.

There are several classes offered throughout the week:

  • Beginner level classes: (FREE!) Monday at 6 p.m., Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Friday at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
  • Intermediate level classes: (FREE!) Monday at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday at 7 p.m., Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
  • Young adult athletic training classes: ($10 per class, $15 for non-members) Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 11:30 a.m. 

Parents must be in attendance for all beginner and intermediate level class. You do not have to participate but are encouraged to. You must complete an enrollment packet before starting which includes medical history.

If you become a member, adults receive two free personal trainer sessions.