Teens offered free summer workouts

Published April 6, 2007

This summer, your child can go to camp to learn to cook, to dance, to play basketball. But one business is offering something a little different - free workouts.

Lifestyle Family Fitness, a chain of 44 gyms, is offering free memberships throughout the summer for teenagers, so that they can lose weight and get fit.

Geoff Dyer of St. Petersburg, Lifestyle's CEO, knows firsthand the problems that obese kids carry into adulthood. He was overweight as a teenager and remembers staying underneath the water in his family pool because he didn't want anyone to see his body.

"It's intimidating and it's embarrassing," he said. "At school, you never feel you fit in any sports programs."

When he was 18, he joined a gym with a friend and within three months had shed all of his extra weight.

Kids age 12 to 17 can pre-register at www.lff.com. All of Lifestyle Family Fitness' 44 locations will be open to students weekdays until 5 p.m. They'll have access to strength training equipment and cardio machines, as well as fitness classes tailored to teenagers.

Last summer, the first time Lifestyle offered the free summer workout camp, more than 2,200 teenagers participated.

"The purpose is to get fit now," he said. "The change can be remarkable and hopefully they will continue to live a healthier lifestyle."

Dong-Phuong Nguyen can be reached at nguyen@sptimes.com or 813 269-5312.