New place offers more than just play

January 4, 2008 4:05:14 PM PST
Children in Newark, Delaware have a new place to play, but it is more than just a fun hang out.

The children can count on getting lots of exercise at the Western Family YMCA. A brand new youth wellness center is now open. It's the first of a kind for Y's in Delaware.

The kid-customized workout center includes traditional strength training equipment and treadmills geared just for youngsters, and then there are the new age devices like interactive dance pads and bikes linked to Playstations.

"What they have to do is peddle to make the person on the screen go," said Kelly Krippel.

The children have a ball, and they don't even realize they're getting a great workout at the same time.

"It is really fun because we don't have this stuff at home," said 11-year-old Henry, who was trying out dance pads with his brother.

That's the response Krippel has had heard ever since the center opened just after Christmas.

"They get into the zone. They see the video games. They see other kids having fun. It really becomes a whole environment," said Krippel.

In this environment, children learn that fitness is fun, especially when using equipment like treadmills, that are often off limits at home.

"It just real easy to do and when you get off, you feel all dizzy. It's like how did this happen?" said 10-year-old Kelsey.

The youth wellness center is open to YMCA members and their guests.