Trainer teaches students the importance of being active

Getting kids motivated to stay active and healthy can be a losing battle. But Indian River High School’s Wellness Center is teaming up with World Gym of Ocean View to prove that it’s not impossible. Aerobic kickboxing instructor and mixed martial arts trainer Noel Bowman stopped by the school last Tuesday to demonstrate some of the training and workout he and his students perform to stay fit.

Coastal Point •: Mixed Martial Arts trainer Noel Bowman demonstrates the importance of conditioning, not only in professional fighting, but on a day-to-day basis. Here, Indian River senior Brad Reed throws some punches in a cardio routine.Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton
Mixed Martial Arts trainer Noel Bowman demonstrates the importance of conditioning, not only in professional fighting, but on a day-to-day basis. Here, Indian River senior Brad Reed throws some punches in a cardio routine.

“Most kids need a purpose to go out and exercise,” said Bowman. “People who are not in shape are usually unmotivated to start.”

He stressed the importance of balancing a diet with exercise, including plenty of cardio. He also explained that different goals concerning weight yield different habits.

“For most guys trying to put on weight and muscle,” he said, “you need to be taking in plenty of complex carbs. This includes your beans, whole-grain rice, and chicken.” For these people, meals should be in small portions and should eaten five to six times a day, he said.

While many guys in high school are concerned with bulking up, he noted that, sometimes, girls are led to believe that limiting food intake will make them skinnier.

“A lot of girls in high school try to slim down, and stop eating as often,” he said. “If you’re not getting the right amount of food, though, your body will do the exact opposite. Your body will go into starvation mode, and the food that you do take in that would normally be burned off will be stored as fat.” The body regulates food intake through its metabolism and requires consumption for regulating.

He then demonstrated a variety of workout techniques practiced in kickboxing and jujitsu, including the shuffle and “shrimping,” a lie-down maneuver that strengthens the core of the body, especially the abs and back.

Stamina is a necessity, not only in professional fighting, but in many day-to-day activities, including something as simple as climbing a flight of stairs.

“Most fighters lose their matches because they are not conditioned,” he said. “Keeping up your aerobic condition can help you avoid health problems, even if you’re not an athlete.”

Bowman demonstrated the importance of countering and defense in professional fighting and gave the class a quick rundown of a fighter’s workout, encompassing a series of punching, kicking, push-ups and abdominal routines.

“This is a great way to get students aware of what they can do to stay active and healthy,” said Vanessa Adams of the Indian River Wellness Center. “Our slogan is ‘Get Moving,’ and this is a great way to keep the kids interested and wanting to learn more.”

With feedback from the students, Adams noted that she plans to hold an afterschool program with Bowman, offering students who do not already participate in sports a healthy alternative to their other afterschool activities.

“We have a variety of kids here,” said Tricia White, also of the school’s Wellness Center. “We want to show them that this can be a fun alternative.”

“Most kids today who don’t workout,” said Bowman, “aren’t doing it because it feels like work. We got the students moving around and having a good time. They were smiling and laughing the whole time. The main thing is to make it enjoyable.”

Bowman teaches kickboxing at World Gym in Ocean View, and is the founder of Bowman Systems, his mixed martial arts program. For more information, contact World Gym at (302) 539-8282. Students should visit the Wellness Center if they have additional questions or concerns.