Get moving

. October 17, 2012.

Just move. That’s the motto of fitness guru and Findlay native Jim Steffen. Long known for gym ownership, national speaking engagements and Jim’s Hot Dogs, Steffen has turned his attention towards the issue of childhood fitness.

Steffen recently opened up the JFO365 fitness facility at 2017 Broad Ave., beside Great Scot (and the former site of Rite Aid).  In addition to functional fitness classes for adults, Steffen has begun a Strong Kids fitness class for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The 40-minute class, held Mondays and Thursdays at 4 pm is meant to be fun. It’s also a way to reach younger children, who are not yet old enough to work out at their parents’ health clubs but want options in addition to physical education classes and sports. The classes have been averaging more than a dozen participants.

“I want to ingrain it in their heads that fitness is fun,” says Steffen, who bills himself as America’s Fun Fitness Coach. “Sometimes in sports if you get something wrong you have to run laps, like laps are a bad thing. To me, sitting out is a bad thing.” Taught alternately by Steffen and Carrie Soellner, the Strong Kids class’ focus is on functional, fun movement. Running, light kettle bells, ropes, monkey bars, gymnastic rings and dance are all on the agenda.

But the class is as much for parents as children. In fact, it can be a good family activity that promotes good health and might provide some bragging rights depending on who lasts the longest. Parents can sit and watch the class, but they are urged to join in the fun.

Cost for the class is $3 per child, with a discount for more than one child. Steffen is currently considering adding classes to the schedule. For more information on the Strong Kids or adult classes, or to register, call the facility at 419-420-7586 or visit