Creative PE class fights to lower adolescent obesity in Santa Ana

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Santa Ana's Valley High School coach, Ken Stancil, introduced a TRX program to help kids stay in shape. (KABC)

Santa Ana's Valley High School coach, Ken Stancil, introduced a TRX program to help kids stay in shape.

"We have approximately 100,000 adolescents in the city of Santa Ana. 46.5 percent of those adolescents are labeled obese or overweight," Stancil said.

Stancil has been teaching for over 30 years. He noticed that the traditional physical education classes were not effective enough, so he asked the Santa Ana School District to fund a TRX program.

TRX stands for total resistance exercise, and it focuses on core strength training. It can accommodate people of all fitness levels.

At first, Stancil had a hard time motivating the kids to participate. He eventually used reverse psychology and created a class that only a select group of students were able to come to. That exclusivity encouraged other students to want to join the class.

"I think if we can add a class where kids want to be in this, I think we can get this TRX movement to catch on," Stancil said.

The classes originally started with just freshmen and athletes. Now, there are around 550 kids involved in the program.

Peter Kaufinger lost 40 pounds after working with Stancil and the TRX program.

"I love TRX ... it taught us a different way to work out instead of just using conventional weights," Kaufinger said.

Sophomore Karina Gonzalez says it has helped her and her friends realize the importance of motivating each other to exercise.

"He would push us and make us run and do all kinds of stuff that we never did before ... we have to work out, we have to keep ourselves healthy. It's not common here in Santa Ana," Gonzalez said.
Related Topics:
healthexercisehigh schoolfitnessfood coachSanta AnaOrange County
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