REEDLEY – Sierra Kings Health Care District is making it possible for a downtown Reedley health club to give children and teens in the area the ability to exercise and stay fit during the hot summer months.
Fitness Quest Health Club, located at 1601 10th St., is making the most of grant money from Sierra Kings Health Care District (SKHCD), a southeastern Fresno County health district, to provide kids with indoor structured fitness programming. This includes offering free summer fitness programs for underserved children in Reedley and surrounding communities.
“The District is extremely proud of this grant partnership with Fitness Quest Health Club, and other local agencies,” Kathy Omachi, chair of Sierra Kings Health Care District said. “We value how this grantee has uniquely designed programming for the benefit of our children.”
These programs include free registration and uniforms for 50 children to attend the 8-week NAJA Youth Basketball Camp, which started earlier this month and runs until Aug. 9. The co-ed camp is open to boys and girls ages five to 15 years, and is designed for youngsters to have fun while building basketball skills in a cool indoor environment.
Coach Modesto “Tito” Torres said there are opportunities for underserved young players and families to qualify for scholarship funding to cover any costs of the basketball camp. The standard camp fee is $40 per player, but kids who meet the income requirements from SKHCD are eligible for low- or zero-cost rates.
In addition to the basketball camp, Fitness Quest Health Club is using grant funds to provide 20 children with free youth gym memberships for the summer. These memberships allow participating children unlimited access to youth yoga, Zumba, cross-training, and kick-boxing classes during the summer months. Remaining programs in July are Kids Gym 101 (July 20) and Kids Yoga (July 27).
Danielle Lashinski, co-owner of Fitness Quest Health Club, encourages families to take advantage of exercise and fitness opportunities during the idle summer season, where hot weather and various social media/indoor activities take priority.
“Teaching our kids to live a healthy lifestyle in the digital age is not easy. Let us help you and your family with fun exercise classes made just for kids!” she said. “Various invigorating classes that are designed to motivate your kids to live a healthier lifestyle through play and hands-on education are available at Fitness Quest Health Club during the summer months and through affordable youth memberships.”
According to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, gains in a child’s body mass index (BMI) accelerate during the summer. Moreso, the study found this phenomenon directly correlates to unstructured days during summer break, increased screen-time, and poor diets. Findings of the study report that structured programming during summer vacation mitigates weight gain among children.
The district says that fitness programming, like that offered by Fitness Quest Health Club, can improve health outcomes for children during summer vacation. For those unable to enroll their children in similar programming, the SKHCD encourages parents to consider creating a schedule of daily physical activities for their children like swimming, bike riding, and stretching. This provides for quality family time and improved fitness.