SAN ANTONIO — With so many kids still finding ways to stay occupied at home and schools still closed, parents may be struggling to get the exercise they need. But a husband-and-wife duo has come up with a way to make exercise fun for the family while also boost mental health.
Matt Kuhlman and his 5-year-old son, Maverick, are playing as the popular Nintendo characters Mario and Luigi in Sweatshop on Demand, a playform that makes exercise fun through games like "Star Power" and "Fireball Throw."
"Sweatshop on Demand, ironically, was given birth about six weeks before COVID affected everybody," said Lanie Kuhlman, Matt's wife and a clinical professional counselor. "A way to entertain you as well, we call it. You're going to laugh, you're going to forget you're exercising. This really provides a way for kids to connect to other people and know they are participating in something that will support their mental health. They are going to feel better and therefore be a little bit calmer and easier to manage at home."
Their free online YouTube videos aren't just for kids, but adults too. You can even jog alongside the Tiger King himself , Joe Exotic. (Actually, it's Matt dressed up as Joe Exotic.)
"It's a really cool way to support getting up and moving and you don't have to go anywhere," he said. "This is a way parents can participate with their kids and watch them have fun and laugh."
Lanie Kuhlman also said the platform provides parents with a way to keep stress levels in check, including for mom this Mother's Day.
"For moms, and parents in general, knowing that your kids are smiling and active—that’s the beauty of Sweatshop On Demand," she said.
Lanie Kuhlman also addressed the issues of mental health during the COVID-19 crisis, reminding people that treatment goes beyond Sweatshop on Demand.
"While exercise can be a very medicinal tool to utilize to reduce any symptoms of mental health problems, you do want to still reach out talk to your physician," she said. "If you are having feelings or afraid to tell somebody, if you are alone or maybe aren’t normal, please reach out and know there is support available."
You can check out Sweatshop on Demand's YouTube channel with free videos here. The entire program can be viewed here.