ALBANY — Zumba instructor Shay Allen has a passion for fitness, but even greater than that, she loves helping families to become healthier and make positive lifestyle choices.
Allen is hosting a “Family Zumba” event at Best Fitness, at 911 Central Ave., in Albany. The free event is designed to encourage those in the Capital District to keep moving and live healthy lives.
According to the American Heart Association about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in children has more than tripled since 1971. Not surprisingly, childhood obesity is actually the number one health concern among parents in this country. Shay enjoys working with kids and parents and loves to show them how much fun fitness can be.
“I created this event because at Best Fitness we call ourselves a ‘Fit Family,’” said Allen. “We come in and motivate each other to achieve and conquer all our fitness goals. We also care and look out for each other as families do. I’ve come to realize that my gym family is really just my extended family. The only thing we haven’t done is party with our children at the gym, so I decided that it was time we did that.”
Allen has created other fitness events but this is the first time she has developed one like this one. It’s also special because she’s doing it as a first time mother.
“My favorite part is watching the smiles on the kids faces as parents also enjoy moving in a safe, family friendly environment,” said Allen.
Allen believes it’s key for parents to help their children to lead healthy lives.
“It is important to create and instill a healthy lifestyle for your children when they are young,” said Allen. “It will help them to want to continue these practices as they get older. They may even find that staying fit and healthy can lead to endless opportunities and even the possibility of scholarships for college.”
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.