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Gallatin Valley kids staying active during pandemic

Posted at 11:48 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 13:48:04-05

BOZEMAN — With many athletic events canceled and schools going virtual, it's been a challenge for some kids to stay active during the pandemic.

But for 12 boys and girls taking part in a strength training yoga, and mindfulness workshop at the Gallatin Valley YMCA say they jumped at the chance to keep their bodies moving and they love feeling the benefits of physical fitness.

Yoga and mindfulness, lifting weights, things the CDC recommends kids and teenagers keep doing even during a pandemic. “It was actually really fun,” said 9-year-old Camden.

“I just thought with a pandemic that it’s really important to keep the kids active and let them go to something maybe that they’re interested in or maybe be around people,” said Health and Wellness Director Jenny Buhl. “This year’s been a really tough year so it’s all about moving and having fun.”

Buhl designed wellness to give kids a chance to get active. Quickly the roster was full.

“It gives the kids more confidence and having confidence in yourself is extremely important in physical wellness and in mental wellness,” she said.

Over the past year, doctors say it’s even more clear that mental wellness now plays an even greater part in overall health. Kids attending the YMCA workshop say they love putting that mind-body element in focus with some mindfulness training beyond the workouts and learning how they can tap into taking a time out.

“I do like doing yoga because it calms the body down,” said Camden.

Nine-year-old Camden loved learning his way around the weight room too.

He plays soccer and he says lifting will make him stronger on the field. “You also need to do a lot of legwork because during the game your legs won’t always hurt all the time,” he said.“It just helps you feel better about yourself and you feel stronger,” said his sister, 11-year-old Peyton. She plays volleyball.“To play volleyball you want to get better strength in your legs so you could run better,” she said.

Trainers at the YMCA say if this program does one thing they hope it shows kids maintaining physical and mental fitness will help give them keys to their best life all around.

The CDC recommends kids 6 to 17 take part in 60 minutes of physical activity at least three times a week.

Those activities could include running, soccer, or dodgeball. The CDC also recommends kids take part in strength training like climbing or push-ups, as well as bone-strengthening exercises like jumping rope. Of course, during the pandemic, the CDC also recommends keeping it clean and keeping 6 feet of social distance.