Get fit

by Capt. Erin Dorrance
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

***image1***Get your kids away from the television and get a workout in for yourself in new fitness classes in the KMC for parents and children.

Renee Champagne, a physical trainer that has worked with kids for more than 16 years, said fitness classes involving parents and children are important because the individuals are able to spend quality time together, fit in a workout and have fun. Ms. Champagne has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and outdoor recreation and is certified in group fitness, yoga, yoga for kids, prenatal and several other physical fitness certifications. She really got into fitness classes with children when she was stationed in Alaska. She said it was always dark and cold so she needed an outlet to get out of the house and round up some endorphins.

“I love kids, I love to teach and I love fitness,” she said. “So why not bring them all together?”

She has brought them together in a slew of classes offered at the Ramstein Youth Center and the Vogelweh Community Center including “Core Conditioning for New Moms” for 6-week-old babies to 3-month-old babies; “Mommy and Me Fit and Yoga” for 2- to 4-year-olds; “Sunshine Class” for 6- to 12-year-old children with special needs; “Yoga Fitness” for 8- to 12-year-olds and “Teen Core Conditioning” for 12- to 18-year-olds.

Classes only work for kids if the parents participate.

“The kids follow their parents’ lead,” Ms. Champagne said. “If we are rolling around on the ground, the parents need to be rolling on the ground with us.”
Kristine Toth and 2-year-old twins, Lydia and Lyla, are regulars at Ms. Champagne’s  yoga classes.

“Full participation is necessary to get everything you can out of the class,” Ms. Toth said. “Parents don’t sit on the sidelines.”

Games are also important in classes for children with special needs. From catching and throwing a foam ball to shirt-buttoning relays, children are working on their motor skills, getting exercise and having fun at the same time, she said.

“These classes create a bonding time between children and their parents, lower stress, encourage fitness and a healthy lifestyle and most importantly − they are fun,” Ms. Toth said.

The best time for kids to be introduced to fitness is when they are young, Ms. Champagne said.

 For more information on parent and child fitness classes, contact the Ramstein Youth Center at 480-6444, the Vogelweh Community Center at 489-7626, or e-mail Renee Champagne at