School is out for the summer, and that means that kids now have a lot of free time on their hands. Fitness instructor Anthony Harding is hoping to make that free time count by offering a fun way for kids to stay active through Harding Kids Camp.
Harding, who also holds an adult boot camp called Harding Performance Boot Camp, wanted to provide local children with the opportunity to not only get fit, but to also have a blast doing so. The Harding Kids Camp is a four-week program that meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays and has two age groups: ages five to eight and ages nine to 12.
“I think it’s a good thing to inspire these kids at a young age,” said Harding. “It’s important to teach them that fitness is very important and to develop that lifestyle at an early age.”
Harding pointed out that with the rise of technology, this generation of children is less likely to be found playing outside and more prone to spending time indoors on their smart phones.
“Kids are different now,” said Harding. “They’re not as active as they used to be.”
In an effort to combat that problem, Harding Kids Camp held its first sessions Tuesday morning, with plenty of smiling kids making it out to the camp. The class began with a warm-up, which consisted of Harding and fellow trainer Leo Pulido teaching the children how to stretch their muscles and get ready to have some physical fun. Laughs echoed off the walls of the building as the campers did jumping jacks and were taught stretches that would prevent them from injuring themselves.
After the warm-up, the real action got started. Campers weaved their way through poles and bear crawled through obstacle courses, with each child receiving high-fives and encouragement from Harding and Pulido along the way. At one point, Harding even participated in a relay race when one team was a camper short.
“I’m taking it upon myself to lead them and help them get active,” said Harding. “I want to get them thinking that exercise is fun, not boring.”
Classes for children ages five to eight begin at 10 a.m., and classes for the older age group are held at 11 a.m. The cost for the four week session is $80 and although the first session has already started, those who wish to do so can still join in. Sign-ups are also available for the next session, which will begin later this summer. Those interested can contact Harding at 209-535-4820 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.