SEFFNER — The North Brandon Family YMCA, 3097 S. Kingsway Road, has found an engaging way to motivate kids to get fit — they must pedal a bike, row or dance to power video games.
New exergaming — exercise and gaming — equipment, part of the renovation of the facility's youth activity center, was made possible through a grant of $12,500 from Winn-Dixie.
Children ages 6 to 12 may use the youth activity center as a place to exercise, to socialize and to learn healthy habits. In addition to the gaming bikes and Dance Dance Revolution, it is outfitted with exercise ball chairs and an obstacle course, following guidelines established by the American College of Sports Medicine and the YMCA of the USA.
Some activities are directed, some independent.
“Staff members play cards and board games with the children or time them going through the obstacle course. They also help them with their homework,” said Sandy Acevedo, human resources coordinator.
In a further attempt to encourage healthy choices, the North Brandon Family YMCA also has adopted the 5-2-1 Almost None youth curriculum that stresses eating five or more fruits and vegetables, watching no more than two hours of television, exercising at least one hour and drinking almost no sugary drinks each day.
The youth activity center is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and additionally from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on days when school is out. On Sunday the youth activity center is closed, although the North Brandon Family YMCA is open.
For additional information about other offerings at the YMCA, and about membership and program fees, visit www.tampa ymca.org or call (813) 685-5402.
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