A program at the New England Aquarium is aimed at inspiring obese children to get up and exercise by watching seals stretch, jump and swim. It’s hoped that the seals’ athleticism will move kids to get up and “you know … run,” as one official put it.


Yes, he’s obsessed with grooming, and he occasionally barks at you, but in most ways Isaac is not your typical fitness instructor. He weighs in at 350, eats 16 pounds of food at a time and he’s only 9 years old. And he’s a seal.

Isaac is one of five northern fur seals to be featured in a new exhibit at the New England Aquarium that aims to entice an increasingly obese generation of kids to get moving.

The seals twist, stretch, leap out of the water, run on their flippers and shoot like missiles under and between the fiberglass rocks. Isaac even stands on his head. The “Move It!” program at the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, which opens Wednesday, uses the seals’ athleticism as an example for children.

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