TAPintoTravels - A new business in Sparta offers fitness for mind and body for area children and adults. The high ceilings and big windows make the facility feel open and light. The homework bar by the entrance indicates the mission of the facility.
MindFit USA, the brain child of Michael Fancher, has been four years in the making, though he traces to roots farther back than that.
Fancher first began his quest to understand the mind/body connection when his child had a medical emergency. Encouraged to research the subject by the doctor, Fancher’s inspirational moment came when doctor told him “the brain is a muscle that has to be worked to become stronger.”
Fancher called on his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and his MBA in Entrepreneurship to hone the MindFit concept. He also used his eight years of experience as a healthcare executive in the financial world to pull it all together.
On one side of the facility the fitness area has a “Ninja Warrior” type climbing apparatus, medicine balls, free weights and stacking boxes.
The classes emphasize proper body mechanics teaching “what the body was meant to do; pushing, pulling, climbing and jumping.” Fancher uses weight lifting techniques to systematically relate to real life applications.
“Dead lifting is the proper form that should be used to pick anything up and clean and jerk is the same motion used to put a suitcase in the overhead bin,” Fancher said. “It is getting them to learn functional fitness - correct position and motion so they can stay healthy through their whole lives.”
Adults are able to work out with the Foundation Fitness “cross fit like” program from 5:30 until 10:30 a.m. Fancher is a Cross Fit L1 trainer and has instructed personal training courses.
The workouts vary every day. After working out the children move to a “decompression room,” with desk and chairs and a video screen.
After about five to seven minutes the children move to the STEM side of the facilities.
The children have access to video production and editing, hydroponics, robotics, 3D printers, drones and PCs and Macs. They will also be tackling renewable energy building solar cells and wind turbines.
It is not a sit and stare experience, however. Coding is taught as a means to create. The equipment is used integrate lessons into projects.
“They can write the program to create plans for drone rotors, create the rotors in the 3D printer, build the drone and add a camera to create video,” Fancher said.
MindFit classes are run daily from 4 until 8 p.m. with at least one class per age group during the week. Age groups are second through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade and ninth through 12 grade. On the weekends there are three classes, one per level.
MindFit USA has already hosted birthday parties and mini-school’s out camps. It is set up for corporate teambuilding events that start with a work out, move to a catered lunch and then to the STEM lab.
Providing the tools to foster creativity and invite innovation, Fancher said the idea behind MindFit is to ask “how do we continue to better the things we already have?”
“We need to get the kids to build on them and then see their ideas through to reality,” Fancher said. “Using exercise to prime the mind and practically work the mind body connection.”
Class schedules are available now and summer camp schedules will be available soon.
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