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Kids' Only Gym Aims To Encourage Fitness From The Youngest Age

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some parents have been getting their kids to the gym at the youngest ages possible, in an effort to battle obesity before it can ever take hold.

As CBS 2's Alex Denis reported Wednesday, at the My Gym Children's Fitness Center on St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, the focus is building a fitness foundation for youngsters in an effort to stop childhood obesity.

Jaden, 3, takes classes at My Gym, and he said he knows what it takes to stay fit.

"I reach up to the sky, and then I touch my toes," he said.

My Gym program director Katie Johnson said the idea at the gym is to build good habits at an early age.

"If they develop a love for it early on, our biggest hope is that they'll carry it with them the rest of their lives," Johnson said.

My Gym is a franchised business that started 30 years ago, and has spread across the country.

While in class, kids practice holding their body weight and activating their abdominals on the trapeze. The youngsters balance while incorporating upper body strength on the high bar.

And they do it all with a smile.

Parents said this type of consistent exercise helps control their children's weight, and encourages early development.

"My son is already starting to walk at 10 months, just because of My Gym and the experience of being active every day," said parent Leon Irving.

Instructors said the earlier you get your child moving, the better.

Classes range from $125 to $149 for four sessions. Free trials were in progress as of mid-June.

My Gym also has two locations on the Upper East Side; one at Lincoln Center; one in Fresh Meadows, Queens; and others in Westchester County, on Long Island, and in New Jersey and Connecticut.

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