I gave up going to the gym a long time ago. After having my third child, it just didn’t work for me to load up my kids, drive to the gym, squeeze in a workout, load them up again and drive home. Instead, I started doing workout DVD’s at home, and that, combined with healthy eating, helped me lose my remaining baby weight.
But, there’s something to be said for the energy, excitement and motivation that comes from a workout class — be it Pilates, kickboxing or Zumba. I really miss the dynamics of a group workout session.
That said, I’ve been on the hunt for classes that I can participate in, but also exercise classes that my kids would enjoy too. I thought, “Hey, if I love the fun of group workouts, I bet my kids will, too!”
Turns out, there are quite a few exercise choices in Arizona that allow kids to participate in group fitness, which basically equals a generally awesome time for all:
I used to be a member of this gym, but they didn’t have kids fitness classes at the time. Fast forward and this sleek, sophisticated gym is offering Kids in Motion, a whole workout class series for kids on specially designed, kid-friendly, high-tech exercise equipment.
Are you familiar with parkour? This training and technique (also called Freerunning) was developed from military obstacles courses and teaches its practitioners how to move through complex obstacle courses (or any architectural structure) without the help of ropes or gear. Basically you learn how to jump over walls, scale buildings and climb like Spider-man! How could any kid resist?
In the greater Phoenix area, check out Kids that Trip for their full schedule of parkour classes for kids at all levels. In Tucson, try Play Performance, which has classes teaching specific skills in a fun environment.
These classes teach coordination, muscle strength and balance and may use ropes, silks or hoops. There are performance classes.
Let’s Dance…and Get Fit
I grew up dancing, and my daughter Riley has been dancing for 4 years now. Dance, in all it’s forms, offers such a great level of fitness and joy whether you’re learning classical ballet, jazz, hip-hop or more body-and-soul benefit.
So, imagine my excitement when I stumbled across Evolve Dance and Fitness in downtown Phoenix, which offers a wide variety of children’s dance classes while also offering adult fitness classes. Riley can practice her pirouette while I sweat it out in Zumba. Both mother and daughter enjoying themselves while getting fit? Sounds like my kind of Tuesday night (or any night for that matter).
Even if you are not in Arizona, there are probably plenty of opportunities and organizations offering exercises classes for kids. Start by asking your kids what they are interested in trying and then let the googling begin. Most studios, fitness clubs and gyms offer a free trial class — that way your kids can try before they commit. And when it comes to encouraging lifelong fitness, trying and exploring is half the fun!