A Gastonia Gym has a plan and a passion to fight childhood obesity by helping children develop healthy eating habits and creating a regular exercise program.

Optimum Result Fitness has partnered with Kintegra Health and other community resources like RAMS Kitchen to create a multidisciplinary health program for kids called Fit Squad.

“We came up with the idea after talking to Dr. Shirley Ocloo (Kintegra Health) about passion projects,” said trainer Trey Miles. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to help teach kids some basic goals.”

The program involves children under the age of 18 meeting every Thursday with fitness trainers, nutritionists and behavioral specialists to help teach children healthy exercise and eating habits.

Meetings last a few hours during which children work out for an hour, eat healthy snacks provided by RAMS Kitchen, and meet with a health specialist to learn healthy habits.

Last week, the children discovered emotional eating.

“We educate them about nutrition and give them goals every week to improve their eating and behavioral health,” Miles said.

Kia Wiggins, therapist and Kintegra Health representative for the program, says understanding behavioral health helps young people understand why they overeat and choose certain snacks.

The kids practiced cardio boxing, bodyweight exercises, learned how to make healthy snacks from RAMS Kitchen and more.

Some of the snacks include “apple nachos” made with apple slices, yogurt and Nutella.

“We really want to help make changes for kids, so help them eat healthier,” said Elvira Hoke, another Kintegra rep. “Some of these issues can be generational, which is why we want kids to learn about healthy snacking.”

General Manager Trey Miles instructs students on the treadmills in his class at Optimum Fitness on Robinwood Road on Thursday afternoon March 31, 2022.

Sessions last 18 weeks in six-week periods with breaks in between. The current class started five weeks ago and includes four children aged 10 to 13.

Children are referred to the program through their pediatrician.

“I really enjoyed seeing their progress,” Miles said. “They come in more confident and socialize a lot more from the start.”

Miles and the rest of the Fit Squad hope to continue growing the team to help more children learn about healthy eating and exercise practices.

“I really like seeing them progress every week,” Miles said.

The gymnasium, located at 3372 Robinwood Road, occupies the space where the former Armstrong Athletic Club was located.

The gym opened in February 2020 with a mission to help members achieve their personal goals through numerous approaches and resources.

Contact Janiya Winchester at 980-319-6819 or [email protected]