Carmel Valley trainer helps make ‘fitness fun for life’
By Karen Billing
Stacy Modugno is hoping to give children a life-long love of fitness with her workout classes Fit N Fun Kids. Held weekly at Ashley Falls Park, the Carmel Valley trainer’s sessions are workouts disguised as play, helping kids fight the trend of childhood obesity, get outside and become stronger and healthier.
Exercise has always been a big part of her life and she herself started young, when her father would take her out running. Those runs led to a love of playing sports and an adulthood in which exercise became her anchor.
“I want to show them that exercise doesn’t have to be a dread,” Modugno said. “I want to show them how exercise can be so many different things and once they see how great it feels, it’ll be something they want to do for the rest of their lives. That’s the tagline for my business, ‘Making fitness fun for life.’”
Modugno finished her certification with the American Council on Exercise in May 2010 and started Fit N Fun classes in September. She finds a lot of similarity in what she is doing with Michelle Obama’s campaign “Let’s Move,” which seeks to raise a healthier generation of American children. Like “Let’s Move,” her business is all about educating the kids, seeing how little it takes to get that much-needed exercise.
“I feel like the kids I can help most are the ones that don’t fit into a team, or don’t want to play team sports because they may be intimidated,” Modugno said. “It’s a way for them to see what they can do and get moving.”
Modugno previously worked in banking before she had her child—until last year she hadn’t worked for 13 years while raising her daughter.
She enjoyed coaching her daughter’s softball teams but just needed something else.
Classes are held on Wednesdays, the day Del Mar Union School District students are released early. The session is one hour and goes by “really fast,” Modugno said. The best part is kids often don’t even feel like they’re exercising.
“They think it’s a play date with their friends, they don’t realize they’re really getting a good, healthy workout,” Modugno said.
The kids do a cardio session, usually incorporating something they have an interest in. For example, her group of boys is big into basketball, so the group will run basketball drills.
The kids do Pilates and other balance and strength work, often taking advantage of the sand lot in the park.
“The sand is great because it’s harder to do anything in the sand,” Modugno said.
She also works with them a lot about nutrition and body awareness.
They are learning about making healthy choices and it has been successful outside of the training sessions. One Fit N Fun mom said on a recent restaurant outing, her child carefully looked at the calorie counts for meal options—after seeing one item was half his day’s worth of calories he decided instead to order a smaller portion from the kid’s menu.
Modugno hopes that Fit N Fun Kids can expand and hopefully provide some offerings at Ocean Air Rec Center. To learn more about classes and rates, visit fitnfunkids.com. The first session is always free.
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