Louie's Kids workouts in the park about fun, not numbers

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A new Louie's Kids program is offering workout sessions with a trainer in a downtown Charleston park every weekend -- and it's all free.

The entire program is focused on getting fit and having fun, and already it's attracting people of all ages.

Imani Richardson could be home sleeping in or watching television, but she chooses to get up early on her Saturday morning and move. At 12 years old, Richardson gets it.

"Some people don't like the way they look, so they should come out and change themselves," she said.

Richardson has been involved with Louie's Kids for about a year and is committed to the Saturday morning workouts in Hampton Park. As she started on her first lap around the pond last Saturday, she shared some good news.

"I went to the doctor yesterday and I've lost five pounds already," she said.

While the 12-year-old Richardson is something of an old hand in the Louie's Kids circles, 13-year-old Ryan Delaney stepped into Hampton Park workout for the first time. And he brought his mom and dad.

"We wanted to get back in shape," Delaney said.

It wasn't easy -- planks, lunges, running -- but Delaney said he wants to play football and baseball when he goes back to school in the fall.

"This is the perfect time to develop new habits," said Delaney's dad, Bryan Dixon.

Him mom, Sue Dixon, has set a goal for them to reach.

"By the end of the summer for Ryan, lose 10 to 20 pounds, the both of us," she said. "Just go a little bit at a time, you know?"

Physical trainer Laura Connors says it can be a challenge to get kids to move.

"At the age they are, they don't want to push themselves, so you have to be that bad guy," she said.

And Connors believes people should not necessarily base success on a number.

"I hate numbers. Some of the kids I work with I say let's not worry about the number, let's worry about, you know, 'Oh, Miss Laura, my pants fit better!' That's what I like to hear," she said.

While Richardson celebrates her five-pound success, Delaney is hoping his friends will notice a change when he goes back to school.

"They'll say, 'Wow! You look great,'" Delaney said.

Louie's Kids offers free workouts at 9 a.m. every Saturday and 6 p.m. every Thursday at Hampton Park near the duck pond. Anyone of any age and fitness level is welcome to join.

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