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Fitness pro gives time to fight child obesity

April 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Michael Seril may be one of the top fitness experts in his field, but when he's not training adults he's focused on children.For the past two years he's been running a free bootcamp for kids in Whittier. Seril says it's a chance for him to give back at a time when kids need it the most.

"A lot of these children are going to P.E. once or twice a week, if that and unfortunately they come home, they play video games," said Seril.

As childhood obesity rates grow and school budgets shrink, Seril knows his expertise is crucial. He's won countless awards and his work is regularly featured in national health magazines but he's determined to make a difference locally.

"Our program is based not just with the children but also on inspiring and motivating parents to make a more proactive approach in helping their child become healthier."

"I think a program like this just helps to augment what they're not getting, "said Liz Pace who has a child in Seril's Program. "Children are children and they play around but I think this is a just a little more organized it just helps them to focus a little bit more."

Over the years Seril's efforts have reached over 2,000 children in Whittier and La Mirada and the numbers just keep growing.

Seril doesn't use any high-end weight machines or treadmills to train the children. Instead he uses simple items so when boot camp is over the children can go home and train on their own and the children say it's a lot more fun that way.

"My favorite part was running in between the cones and my second favorite part was doing pushups," said John Pace.

"I think it's really cool because he's doing this for the kids not for himself," said Emma Duarte.

Seril says he's happy to be recognized but the celebrations will have to wait. With a brand new studio he's focusing on making his summer boot camp a year round event.

"If this award gets my word out there even more to inspire and educate more children and their families and advocate fitness then it's a great thing," said Seril.


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