Turn Off the Video Games
It's Time for Kids to get Physical!
April, 2008 - Issue #42
With today's popular enticements of video games, the Internet, high-fat fast food and other "sedentary" habits luring kids away, it's no wonder there's an epidemic of juvenile obesity and weight-related health and emotional problems.

As parents, we must always seek the best direction for our children, right? An excellent path toward that goal lies in physical fitness programs. Empowering, challenging and fun, these activities help create strong, healthy bodies and focused minds. For many children, gymnastics is the way to go. In Santa Clarita, two key facilities have established glowing reputations.

Fun & Fit Gymnastics Centers
Jeff Lulla of Fun & Fit Gymnastic Centers in Santa Clarita says gymnastics are "one of the best activities for developing strength, flexibility, balance coordination, agility, and aerobic fitness." His facility, which offers gymnastics classes for children 12 months to teens, and "Power Play," - a 30-minute non-stop aerobic class for youth, is "different from other competitive gyms because of its unique non-competitive 'personal best' philosophy," Lulla said.
Fun & Fit Gymnastics Center 255-7244

Wallers' GymJam Academy
Wallers' GymJam Academy in Santa Clarita offers trampoline, tumbling, gymnastics and movement for boys and girls 18 months and up. Owned by Chris and Cindy Waller, GymJam is distinctive as it offers training for all levels, Cindy Waller said. "We also don't push students onto the 'team track,' she notes. "There is a curriculum in the academy starting at the entry levels, which the students progress through and receive a ribbon after mastering each level."

GymJam's clients are primarily pre-school age and elementary school age children who come in an hour or two a week. They also have approximately 90 boys and girls on the competitive Gymnastics Team or Trampoline and Tumbling Team. GymJam features coaches with respected athletic backgrounds, including the very victorious Chris Waller (two-time heart surgery patient, as well as a 1992 Olympian and 2004 Olympic Coach).
Wallers' GymJam Academy:
(661) 251-3390

Saturday, April 19
College of the Canyons Hosts Fifth-annual Play Day in Honor of "Week of the Young Child"

The day will offer free, developmentally-appropriate activities for children. "The play day is a fun and educational event that honors young children and all those who make a difference in their lives," said Wendy Ruiz, associate director of infant/toddler programs at the college's center for Early Childhood Education and Santa Clarita co-chair of the Southern California Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, which is sponsoring the event along with local childcare programs.

Play Day will be highlighted by storytelling, arts and crafts, music, an obstacle course, as well as math and science activities. The event will be held in the Honor Grove at the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parents, grandparents and caregivers are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and participate in many activities. Free water bottles will be available throughout the day; 362-3510

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