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Positively San Diego: Fitness expert isn't letting pandemic stop him from helping students and teachers

Posted at 6:18 AM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-27 10:14:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Exercise has been one of the most effective stress relievers during the pandemic, but it has also been a challenge for some people to find a way to do it.

That's where Mike Cothrine comes in. He started Mike's Fit Family about eight years ago to teach teachers free of charge about how to achieve a healthy body and healthy mind.

"A lot of these ladies had never exercised before in their life," he says. "A lot of them were just happy that somebody cared about them, cared enough to take care of them the way they take care of so many."

The idea is to get teachers moving so they can do the same for their students.

Mike says, "They started to really feel the power, and started feeling themselves and that energy translated to the kids."

Preschool teacher Sofia Martinez who teaches at VIP Village Preschool in Imperial Beach has lived those positive effects.

"My stress levels were lower, it helped me sleep at night," and she says, "I went down from a size 12 to a size 6."

Sofia says the kids love the workouts and while they catch on quickly, they're not the only ones.

"We saw the effects on the children in the classroom and then it was starting to trickle into the homes and the moms wanted to join," she says.

Mike's approach is holistic. He also teaches stress relief and nutrition. When you meet him it becomes immediately clear why he's effective. He exudes energy and a half. He says his inspiration comes from his childhood in St. Louis. What his family lacked in means, they made up for in love. So with his fitness background, he wanted to give back to those who also lack the means.

He says, "That's the core value of myself and my team, we love you up."

Mike was traveling across San Diego county helping 20 different school district groups when the pandemic hit. So, in his can-do fashion, he took his classes virtual. Forty live virtual classes a week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. He asks those who can to pay so he can continue to give to others who can't.

He says, "We all need to do our best to take care of our bodies, our temples, our minds and our spirit so we can be okay and hopefully with an intention to help other people be okay." is for school groups and those who need assistance. is for everyone else.