Com­pany uses mu­sic to pro­mote well­ness

Com­pany uses mu­si­cal per­for­mances to pro­mote well­ness and ex­er­cise

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @MichileaP on Twit­ter For more healthy liv­ing sto­ries in­clud­ing healthy recipes, visit the Fit for Life web­site at www.pottsmer­c­

Is it a mu­sic con­cert, a health les­son or a fit­ness work­out? This may be the ques­tion that comes to mind for peo­ple view­ing a Fresh Start Fit­ness per­for­mance for the first time and the an­swer is it’s all three.

Fresh Start Fit­ness, a com­pany based out of Pottstown, per­forms fit­ness con­certs for schools and fam­i­lies through­out Penn­syl­va­nia as well as in other states such as New York and New Jer­sey.

Aaron Christ, cre­ator of Fresh Start Fit­ness, said the healthy per­for­mances in­clude live mu­si­cians, a big sound sys­tem and cool light­ing ef­fects.

“So it’s lit­er­ally like a con­cert in that re­gard,” he said adding that there is also a big fit­ness piece.

Christ or an­other trainer will lead stu­dents and fam­i­lies in a work­out that is chore­ographed to mu­sic. He started do­ing the fit­ness as­sem­blies at schools about six years ago. He said around that time, there were some up­set­ting oc­cur­rences in the area such as sui­cides. Christ wanted to do some­thing pos­i­tive for youth in the com­mu­nity which is how the idea to com­bine fit­ness and mu­sic came about.

Christ now works with mu­si­cian David Charles. Charles said the mu­sic helps mo­ti­vate stu­dents to move and re­ally en­cour­ages them to par­tic­i­pate. He said the mu­si­cal el­e­ment makes a dif­fer­ence when it comes to get­ting as many chil­dren as pos­si­ble to par­tic­i­pate in the ex­er­cises.

“I would say that mu­sic is a re­ally big com­po­nent as far as fit­ness goes. A lot of peo­ple work­out to mu­sic,” he said.

Christ said there are three main com­po­nents of the fit­ness con­certs. The first is ex­er­cise. Peo­ple not only do dif­fer­ent fit­ness rou­tines through­out the per­for­mance but they also learn why it’s im­por­tant. Each con­cert be­gins with stretch­ing and a warmup then Christ will ask fit­ness-re­lated ques­tions such as how of­ten should kids ex­er­cise.

The sec­ond com­po­nent of the con­cert is nu­tri­tion. Christ takes time dur­ing each per­for­mance to dis­cuss the im­por­tance of eat­ing healthy and ex­plains MyPlate which is a guid­ance on how to healthily di­vide your meal plate with dif­fer­ent nu­tri­ents.

The last com­po­nent is one that both Christ and Charles feel very strongly about. Christ ends the fit­ness con­certs by talk­ing about the im­por­tance of self-con­fi­dence and self-worth.

“It just kind of re­minds kids that they’re valu­able and they are worth tak­ing care of,” Christ said.

Charles said the self-es­teem as­pect of the per­for­mances is re­ally the “core” com­po­nent. He said self-worth plays a ma­jor role in mo­ti­vat­ing chil­dren to make healthy eat­ing choices and to ex­er­cise on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The three main les­sons of the fit­ness con­cert are also in­cluded a song that Charles wrote which he sings at the end of each per­for­mance. The song is called “I Want to Live” and it’s about be­ing on a healthy jour­ney that in­volves ex­er­cise, nu­tri­tion and over­all well­ness. Charles said the song pulls all those les­sons to­gether in a mes­sage that’s easy for kids to un­der­stand.

Christ said the song is a great tool for them dur­ing the fit­ness con­certs. He said the stu­dents are learn­ing all th­ese dif­fer­ent health les­sons through­out the per­for­mance and then the “I Want to Live” song wraps it all up in a “three-minute pack­age that al­lows them to re­mem­ber it for a life­time.”

“It just kind of tran­scends mu­sic for just the pur­pose of en­ter­tain­ment or mo­ti­va­tion in a work­out to ac­tu­ally giv­ing some sus­te­nance to take home and hope­fully change their lives,” Christ said.

Christ and Charles are cur­rently cre­at­ing a video to go along with song and hope to have a big premier in the New Year. They want to get peo­ple ex­cited about health and well­ness through the video as well as help pro­mote the com­mu­nity it was shot in. The video will have sev­eral scenes and one was shot last week at West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary school dur­ing their fit­ness assem­bly.

West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Terri Koehler said it was nice to have a lo­cal com­pany come out to pro­mote well­ness es­pe­cially since Christ is a grad­u­ate of Potts­grove High School. She said move­ment is big part of their school cul­ture and they of­ten do brain breaks with the stu­dents in­clud­ing us­ing a web­site called GoNoo­dle.

GoNoo­dle is based out of Nashville, Tenn. but schools across the na­tion use the web­site, www.GoNoo­, to in­cor­po­rate phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in the class­room. There are even GoNoo­dle brain break videos with Fresh Start Fit­ness. Caitlin May, a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher at West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary School, said her stu­dents were ex­cited to par­tic­i­pate in a live fit­ness per­for­mance with the same faces they see in their brain break videos. She said the videos gets the stu­dents ready to learn.

“I think a lot of kids, they just need to get up and move be­cause sit­ting all day can make for a long day and they lose fo­cus. Get­ting them mov­ing uses a dif­fer­ent part of their brain and then re­fo­cuses them back on their task,” May said.

Af­ter stu­dents at­tended the fit­ness con­cert dur­ing the school day, they came back later that evening with their par­ents for a fam­ily night with Fresh Start Fit­ness. Christ said they en­joy get­ting the whole fam­ily in­volved since par­ents are a big in­flu­ence on the stu­dents. Events such as the fam­ily night and the GoNoo­dle videos al­low the whole fam­ily to par­tic­i­pate to­gether, he said.

In ad­di­tion to the fit­ness con­certs and GoNoo­dle videos, Fresh Start Fit­ness be­gan a pro­gram last year called Healthy Habits. The pro­gram was pi­loted in a cou­ple Ch­ester County schools. Christ goes into the school and sets up healthy goals for stu­dents to com­plete through­out the en­tire school year. Goals in­clude drink­ing enough wa­ter dur­ing a phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion class or bring­ing healthy snack op­tions to school. The class­rooms are able to track the progress of stu­dents so they have spe­cific statis­tics on healthy be­hav­iors. Christ said peo­ple can ex­pect to see more about the pro­gram this win­ter on their web­site, afresh­start­fit­

Both Christ and Charles want to con­tinue to see Fresh Start Fit­ness grow. Christ said they get re­quests all the time from places out­side the re­gion in­clud­ing re­ceiv­ing in­quiries from Scot­land and Aus­tralia. Next month, the com­pany will per­form at a week­long event called the “Health Hus­tle” in Texas where 10,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend.

Charles said the ex­cite­ment he sees from the youth, fam­i­lies and ad­min­is­tra­tion when they are per­form­ing showed him that Fresh Start Fit­ness has the po­ten­tial to be­come a na­tional pro­gram.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Fresh Start Fit­ness in­clud­ing pack­ages for the fit­ness con­certs, visit the web­site at afresh­start­fit­


Mu­si­cian David Charles, left, and Aaron Christ per­form dur­ing a fit­ness con­cert at West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary School. The per­for­mance com­bines fit­ness and mu­sic.


West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary stu­dents do some fit­ness ex­er­cises dur­ing a per­for­mance by Fresh Start Fit­ness which com­bines fit­ness and mu­sic.


West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary stu­dents stretch out their arms dur­ing a warm-up for a fit­ness con­cert at the school.


David Charles, front, and Aaron Christ do lunges dur­ing a fit­ness con­cert at West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary School.


Aaron Christ, the cre­ator of Fresh Start Fit­ness, per­forms a fit­ness con­cert at West Potts­grove El­e­men­tary School.


David Charles, of Pottstown, sings dur­ing a Fresh Start Fit­ness per­for­mance. The com­pany per­forms fit­ness con­certs for schools and fam­i­lies through­out Penn­syl­va­nia.

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