President Obama’s fitness trainer encourages kids to ‘just move’


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About 600 kids, ages 5 to 15, "just moved" by participating in an interactive exercise routine in Maple Grove.

The District 279 Kidstop program hosted a special guest Friday, June 22 – Cornell McClellan, a fitness consultant and personal trainer for President Barack Obama and his family.

"I have been working with them for over 14 years," he said. "And they love fitness, which makes my job very easy working with them."

McClellan is also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. His mission to illustrate how fitness can be achieved through a holistic approach that enhances the mind, strengthens the body and nurtures the spirit.

Rush Creek and Weaver Lake Kidstop Program Manager Cadi Thyne contacted McClellan. "The Kidstop program wrote him a letter explaining our summer theme ‘Just Move’ and how we would love for him to come and end the first week of summer with our kids."

The Kidstop program’s summer of "Just Move" is all about getting kids to move, Thyne said.

McClellan added, "They asked me if I come and get the program jump started."

He said fitness is his passion. "I said, ‘Of course I’ll come," McClellan said.

"It is about teaching kids to be active and have fun," Thyne added about the Just Move program. "It is teaching them about healthy eating choices and healthy things to do for and with their body to promote an active lifestyle."

During is visit McClellan told the kids, "I came all the way here from the White House, because you all are important. I know that this summer at Kidstop, you all are going to have a ball learning to be fit."

He added physical activity is an important of everyone’s lives. "Fitness is a lifestyle," he said. "It’s moving and doing something on a daily basis that keeps us fit."

McClellan said he not only wanted the kids to empower themselves, but also take this back home to their families.

Another part of being healthy is eating healthy. "You are what you eat," McClellan said. "That means if you eat great things that only makes you greater. It’s important to be conscious about what you eat. I’m not saying you can never eat fun stuff, but it’s important to make sure you get your fruits and vegetables and whole grains."

McClellan wanted the kids to learn that "we were created to move and it’s our most natural state." He added that kids don’t have to be on a team to be active, just riding a bike, taking the dog for a walk and spend some time outside is perfect.

He also shared with the kids about President Obama’s challenge. Anyone can go to and sign up for the six-week challenge. One of the requirements is for kids 18 years old and younger to be active for 60 minutes every day for six weeks. Adults should be active for 30 minutes five days a week for six weeks.

If all the requirements are completed, the participant will receive a President’s Active Lifestyle Award from President Obama.