Variety KC and Fusion Fitness Helping Make Fitness Fun for Everyone!
In this new workout video from Variety the Children’s Charity and Fusion Fitness, kids of all abilities are given the opportunity to believe in themselves.
Photos by Haley Photography
It’s been said that exercise has been known to cause good health and happiness, and as evidenced by the dynamic youth in a new fitness video, health and happiness have taken center stage.
When long-time friends and business collaborators Deborah Wiebrecht and Darby Brender came up with an idea to bring fitness fun to kids of all abilities, it was a natural fit. As owner of Fusion Fitness, Brender has always had a passion for a healthy lifestyle and that passion fueled the inspiration to partner with Wiebrecht, Executive Director of Variety, the Children’s Charity here in Kansas City, to create an exercise video designed to invite kids with special needs, and their family and friends, to participate in a series of workouts created specifically for their unique needs.
“This is the first video we know of that includes kids with both intellectually and physical disabilities,” expressed Wiebrecht. “However, they don’t need special treatment; they need special equipment. It is a challenge for this population to get the fitness requirements they need, and through this video we hope to inspire a movement towards activity.”
Wiebrecht emphasized kids of all ages need to be challenged physically, and those who previously might not have been able to participate in fitness can now increase their cardiovascular fitness level as well as incorporate some strength training in the process with this fun and engaging video.
“We really wanted to make it appealing to every child, parents and caregivers so they could see that fitness is possible for everyone,” noted Brender, who created the four, five-minute workouts featured in the video, all of which showcase Variety kids of varying abilities, along with some of their able-bodied friends and families. “It is important to show these kids that they can participate with their able-bodied friends and not feel left out.”
Created under the guidance of both a medical doctor and a physical therapist, the workouts in this video were presented in a manner easily modified for kids of all abilities, and pediatric physical therapist and Clinical Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy program at Baylor University, Kendra Gagnon, is featured in the video providing assistance to some of the kids who required it.
“This video is important for a number of reasons,” Gagnon stated. “Data shows that only about 40% of all kids are physically fit, and this number is even lower for children with disabilities. Children with disabilities and their families experience a variety of participation restrictions that don’t allow them to get adequate exercise. And the truth is, exercise often isn’t fun for kids with disabilities because it isn’t with friends and often occurs in medical environments.”
Also on hand for this video was Sara Mouzabi, wife of Kansas City Royals’ pitcher, Danny Duffy. An enthusiastic supporter of Variety and fitness, Mouzabi helped the kids in the video.
It was important to those who created this video to not simply make it a “wheelchair” or “special needs” workout. Instead, this video includes people of all ages with a variety of abilities and strengths. Both the kids and adults featured in it are not “perfect”, nor are they fitness experts. They are simply real kids and adults who have discovered a fun way to move their bodies, and that is what this team of passionate individuals desired to achieve.
“My hope for this video (is) that every child and family sees someone with whom they can identify. If you can see it, you can be it!” Gagnon smiled.
For more information, go online at varietykc.org or fusionfitness.com. You may also visit them on Facebook: Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City and Fusion Fitness. Anticipated release date of the video is late August 2017 and will be available through these websites as well as at HealthyKCmag.com