PUBLISHED: 12:12 PM on Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Personal trainer helps children find value of exercise

Photo by Amanda Gragert
Mychal Bossio fit for the fitness business, but what really gets him talking is teaching children about nutrition and exercise.

Bossio first moved to Juneau in 1999 where he worked as a personal trainer. He moved to Florida to attend school and came back about a year ago to Juneau. He then began working for the Juneau Douglas School District as part of a grant program to promote nutrition and exercise to students.

"We're trying to tackle the obesity factor in children, which is pretty high," Bossio said.

He said a three and a half month assessment was done of all students, which included strength and flexibility tests, and issues have been looked at such as lack of activity and food offerings.

An activity that students have taken to is a stability ball, which is a large exercise ball.

'The kids just go crazy regardless of their ability level. They don't even realize they're exercising,' Bossio said.

Bossio, who is a personal trainer at Fitness Essentials, said he enjoys working with the students.

'I've been in the fitness industry for a while and being able to apply that to kids has been a challenge, but it's rewarding to come up with new activities and doorways for the kids,' Bossio said.

Bossio said to teach students how to have healthy lifestyles, he has helped schools hold family nights, which include obstacle courses and nutrition educators.

'The kids love it and we introduce healthy alternatives. One night we made smoothies and healthy snacks and sodas became obsolete. We've seen a positive outcome,' Bossio said.

Bossio said he made fitness his business because he always had been involved in athletics.

He said he enjoys hunting and fishing, as well as love football. Bossio said he would like to start a city football league.

He said he came to Juneau because of the lure of Alaska and doesn't plan to move back to Washington any time soon.

'It's always nice to visit, but it's also nice to be able to leave,' Bossio said.