A Workout That’s Kid Stuff

A Workout That’s Kid Stuff

No, Alex can’t come out and play, so Enercise opened a gym.

Kids “just aren’t outside like we used to be growing up,” says Judi Shink, a former schoolteacher and now cofounder of Enercise Gym, a new workout facility in Minnetonka designed exclusively for kids six to 14 years old. Shink remembers playing ball, riding bike, and staying out till she was called home for dinner or bed. Today, she says, when her children go out to play, they find that no one is home: Neighborhood kids are at scheduled activities that parents drive them to, or parents work into the evening.

“We were exercising without even knowing it,” Shink says of her early years. Now children—especially those whose families can’t or won’t commit to intensive practice and game schedules for team sports—are inactive and increasingly obese.

Enercise, which Shink opened with her husband in May, blends elements of gaming with fitness training: The Brain Bike runs kids through a cardio workout and interactive brain teasers at the same time. Enercise’s equipment uses hydraulic resistance—no weights that can pinch fingers or jerky motions that can harm joints.

The Shinks located Enercise near Ridgedale and other businesses so parents can run errands while kids are at the gym. But they find that in a third of cases, parents come along to work out. Memberships cost $98 per month for a family and $45 for a single child.