Julia Walderzak grew up as an overweight child. She admits she wasn't very good at sports, and lacked an outlet to help her get in shape.
But Walderzak was able to change her lifestyle, earning her fourth-degree red belt in tae kwon do after graduating from college.
Now the Northborough native is focused on combining her passion for health and her professional background in event planning as she prepares to open H2K on Saturday.
H2K, or Happy Healthy Kids Fitness Studio, is having its grand opening at its 730 Boston Post Road location from 1-4 p.m. H2K will cater to bringing healthy lifestyles to local families.
"What’s unique about us is this is the first gym (in Sudbury) that is specifically for children," Walderzak says. "There are other gyms that say they do a kids class, but that’s not who we are."
For the past 10 years, Walderzak has lived in New York working as an event planner. But the thought of working in health and making it a part of her family's life was always in the back of her mind.
"A year ago I had this idea that I wanted to combine the event side of my background with the fitness side, and also be able to help the community," she says. "Fifty percent of children are obese in the country right now so it’s a huge issue. I want to provide an environment that is non-competitive and (where) kids can feel safe. Part of my inspiration for the studio was it's a way for me to be able to be a strong business woman and also (have it) be able to be apart of my future family's lives."
As a certified instructor in Zumba and kids Zumba, Walderzak plans to have an active role in the business by teaching classes. She has also hired kids yoga instructors and plans on having prenatal and mommy and me classes.
There will also be classes for kids who are into sports.
"Someone will teach sports conditioning classes for kids for the athlete who wants to improve their ability in a specific sport," she says.
The gym won't be all about exercise. Walderzak plans on having birthday parties and an open gym period.
"The open gym will be Tuesday to Friday for two hours," she says. "Moms can come in as kids play around and chit-chat with other moms."
Moms, or dads, will be able to relax in a separate room where coffee will be available.
"Kids packages will be sold in eight-week sessions, once a week for one hour depending on which class they select," Walderzak says.
For parents who decide they want to take a class, those are sold in class packs: five, 10, 15 and 20. There are drop-in rates available, too.
The grand opening will include face painting, balloon artists, giveaways, demonstrations, and a 10 percent discount to those who register that day. For more information, call 978-261-5950, or visit them on Facebook.
"It’s more of a family environment," she says. "We are for children. We are for bringing health into families."