hampstead health
Fitness for the entire family.
hhf in the news


To The Editor: Thank You

February is Heart Month, and this year it has a special significance for me.

On Feb 8, 2012, after finishing a workout at Hampstead Health and Fitness (HHF), I collapsed and suffered cardiac arrest. Thanks to the quick action of club members and staff who administered CPR and used an AED (defibrillator), I was kept alive long enough for the EMT's to arrive and continue my resuscitation. My family and I are profoundly grateful to them all, especially HHF club members Jared Whalen and Nicholas Bundzinkski of Sandown, and HHF staff members Barbara Felder and trainer Jeremy McCurdy, and club owner Ted Curtin. I also thank the Hampstead Fire Department who took the 911 call, specifically Steve Morse and Ed Clark.

Most especially, I want to thank the team from Trinity Emergency, Steve Dube and Scott Wells, who brought me back to consciousness and got me safely to Exeter Hospital. All of these people helped save my life. Everyone acted calmly and professionally, and I am grateful to be making a full recovery.

If you have ever considered learning CPR, now is a great time to sign up for a course. The loved one you save could be yours - or mine.

Anne Banks, Newton


Making Exercise Fun - Video games help battle childhood obesity By Bryan Deyermond

Hampstead, NH - Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and many pediatricians point to video games as one of the leading causes of this epidemic.

But the owners of Hampstead Health & Fitness have turned that notion on its head, establishing a Kids' Gym that utilizes video games to get kids to exercise more.

"I had the idea of a kids' gym over 10 years ago, but the technology wasn't there until my partner and I bought it last year," said Ted Curtin, who co-owns the Danville Road gym with Exeter physician Dr. Humberto Valdes.

The kids' gym has its own area, adjacent to the adult exercise equipment. The machines are different incorporating the Nintendo Wii and games such as "Dance, Dance Revolution" into more traditional exercise routines like weights and treadmills.

Dr. Susan Lynch, the wife of Gov. John Lynch, toured the facility yesterday and was amazed at what she saw. "I wish there was a facility like this where I work in Concord," she said. "I have patients all over the state, and I do have some patients that come here, and they told me how much they love it. I know that a lot of the kids that have been coming here for a while have improved their body mass index, they are more fit, they are stronger, they have more endurance, and they feel good about it."

Alex Herron, 10, of Hampstead said he comes to the gym a few times a week. Yesterday, he was playing a tennis game on the Wii, which requires actual body motion to control the characters on the screen.

"I like pretty much everything," Herron said. "I like the treadmills. I like the Wii. I like the weights. I learn how to use the weights correctly."

Valdes said the gym allows kids to learn fundamental exercise and weight training at a young age, which will help them when they go on to high school and college.

"They learn how to lift weights properly, and then they come into the kids' interactive part with the DDR and the Wii games," he said. Valdes said his favorite part is watching the enthusiasm of the children who come into the gym daily.

"(I love) the kids' smiles running across the parking lot," he said. "Just seeing their faces. They really enjoy it."


Fitness, Nintendo Style - The fitness club gets kids moving by linking workout equipment with video games. by Jennifer DePaul

HAMPSTEAD - Dr. Susan Lynch, wife of Gov. John Lynch, greeted a handful of young people at Hampstead Health and Fitness Kids Gym yesterday to promote exercise and healthy lifestyles while raising awareness about childhood obesity.

"This is incredible. I wish there were more facilities like this." Lynch said of the gym, which opened in the spring.

The children took a break from their workouts to meet Lynch, who is a pediatrician at Concord Hospital. She explained the benefits of their strength training and discussed their favorite activities.

"There are numerous benefits to having a kids gym." Lynch said. "It would be great if every parent had the opportunity to be part of this type of gym."

Besides kids getting the opportunity to exercise and move around, parents are able to work out and have their kids close by, she said. Approximately 100 kids from area towns are members.

One of the members, Shane Dube, 9, of Sandown, asked Lynch to sign his "Walk NH" hat. Lynch is a spokesperson for the physical activity program, which is designed to teach children ages 6 to 12 how to have fun while getting in shape. Dube participated in the program last year and was one of five students who won a chance to meet Gov. Lynch.

Emylie Rose, 10, of Salem has been coming to the kids gym nearly every day since summer. "It's really fun and afterwards you get to play," Rose Said.

The key to success for Hampstead Health and Fitness was to find a way to get kids excited about exercise. So personal trainer Ted Curtin and Exeter Physician Dr. Humberto Valdes found a way to combine cardiovascular and weight training with video games.

"If we can harness the positive aspect of their interest in digital media to get them to enjoy fitness and make it a part of their everyday lives, this will go a long way to raising healthier children," Valdes said.

In 2006 the New Hampshire Foundation for Healthy Children released a report that said 33 percent of children in the state ages 6 to 12 were overweight or obese.

"If you don't play sports there aren't a lot of opportunities for kids ... to stay healthy," Lynch said.

Lexi Heidenreich, 8, of Danville said her favorite part of her workout routine is lifting weights, running on the treadmill and playing the games. She visits about twice a week, not only for the workouts but also to make new friends.

"Kids can get fit without being harassed," Lynch said. "I'm sure none of the kids have to be nagged to come here."


Hampstead Health and Fitness, 45 Danville Road, E. Hampstead, NH • 603-382-9291