It is not just adults who benefit from a gym, kids can equally make use of gym equipment that has been specially designed for them. The spiraling number of kids-only-gyms in response to the growing awareness about kid's fitness interests is proof enough. Every responsible and loving parent who understands the importance of exercising would prefer to incorporate a healthy lifestyle regimen from early stages of a kid's life.
Children are fun lovers. Kids develop and retain enthusiasm only when physical exercise is fun and rewarding. A kid gym helps to establish a healthy foundation by focusing on the fun and thrill factor. Besides improving the over all health and well-being, kid gyms help develop motor skills as well as social skills. Do what is best for your kid. Here is a guide to selecting an exclusive kid gym.
Fast disappearing active childhood
There is a radical change in the lifestyle of today's kids compared to previous generations. Years ago, it was common for children to walk or ride to school. Leisure time meant riding around the block on the bicycle, climbing on fences, trees and playing hopscotch with friends. Immediately after school, it was normal for kids to spend most of their time outside, playing games and having fun. Parents hardly felt the requirement for children to be involved in a systematic exercise program.
The present scenario is completely different. Children have fallen prey to the sedentary lifestyle syndrome. Kids lack exposure to the natural world enjoyed by past generations. Kids are overscheduled these days. Apart from lack of time to play, they hardly have the inclination to play with friends in neighborhood. Instead kids love to use their ipod, spend long hours in front of the television, computer or video games.
The physical activity level is low; as a result the level of physical exertion has diminished substantially. Besides unhealthy food habits of consuming too much saturated fat, sugar and salt and too few fruit and vegetables have only contributed to the imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. The result is a negative impact on health. Inadequate physical exercise can result in gaining abnormal body weight (obesity) and myriad diseases that may not be immediately evident.
A number of studies show that kids who are physically active right from a young age continue to maintain similar patterns throughout adulthood. But getting a kid to involve in a traditional workout program is a challenge. Adult members in the family have an important part to play in developing the interest. Programs in exclusive kid gym are designed to meeting the needs of physical workout.
The environment in a kid gym is stimulating. The age specific structured program in a kid gym provides the right amount of challenge to the muscles, heart, and lungs. Improvement in fitness levels brings about a positive change in their attitudes. Healthy kids sleep better, learn easily and tend to do well in studies, develop a good mental health, possess high self-esteem, and carry a healthy emotional outlook on life. Kids have the advantage of being able to take part in many different activities all in the same place. Other benefits of involving kids in a physical activity in a gym include:
- Social-interaction improves when playing with other kids
- Develops problem-solving skill at a young age
- Benefits because of improved blood circulation
- Learn to listen well and follow instructions
- Learn to be fair and competitive
- A surge in confidence level
- Stronger muscles, bones
- Helps control body fat
- Obesity at check
- Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later years
- Lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
- Helps develop a flexible body
- Helps instill lifelong skills
Kid gym activities
?The sights and sounds of a kid gym are truly stimulating. Due importance is given to the design aspect ensuring that the gym looks visually attractive as well as comfortable. Kids exclusive gyms provide an opportunity for the kid to explore different activities under the supervision of a qualified instructor. In relation to the kid's age, some kid gym activities may require parental participation. And as the kids grow, the curriculum changes.
Kids gyms aim to develop motor, emotional and perceptive skills of kids. Age-appropriate music and rhythm is incorporated in all movements. The kid-friendly equipment are constructed with special features like gel seats and padded handlebars that provide maximum comfort and security to kids. The programs cater to the needs of the toddlers and the teens.
The toddlers begin with baby exercises, songs, dances, infant-safe rides, and unique swings with parental participation. As the kids grow, they are introduced to the strength and flexibility exercises, the basics of gymnastics, ballet, yoga, karate and aerobics. Kids are engaged in-group games and playing with props such as hoops, parachutes and balls. As much as having fun, kids systematically develop unique skills that can last lifetime.
Selecting a kid gym
Kid gyms cater to children aged 3 months to 13 years of age. Before you initiate the process of selecting a kid gym, try to understand what kind of an activity excites your kid. You can also take the kid along, tour the gym and let the kid see an exercise class in progress. Try and assess if your kid like the gym, otherwise he/she may not want to use it.
The modus operandi of selecting a kid gym that is suitable for your kid and family is simple.
- Check with your friends, use the Internet, the telephone directory or refer local newspaper to find out kid gym in your area.
- Prefer the nearest location, near your home or the school.
- Enquire about the fitness programs structured across different ages. Collect pamphlets or visit websites.
- Understand the goal. Fitness should be made fun; variety and excitement are crucial elements to motivate kids into a gym.
- Check if exercise programs change every week so that your kid doesn't get bored.
- Check out the infrastructure, the capacity vs. the number of kids already enrolled and the credentials of trained staff.
- Obtain feedbacks from parents of kids who are already involved in the kid gym.
- Give importance to the safety and cleanliness aspects.
- Check the length of program. Some kid gym centers offer programs all the way to the age of 18, which is advantageous to follow an uninterrupted exercise regimen.
- Check the cost and possible discount options.
- Find the hours of operation, the number of classes per week. Also, if they work during the weekends.
- If a trial membership is available, do use it.
- Is there is a provision for parents to wait and observe kids.