When it comes to fitness, the family that plays together gets tons of benefits together. Experts have noted that parents are the number-one source of how children feel about living a healthy lifestyle. Exercising together reinforces family bonds and creates new family traditions.
When parents make the decision, with their child, to get them involved in fitness it promotes a healthy outlet that sustains them into adulthood. Focusing early on physical health will help kids improve athletic performance, build coordination, fight obesity, and gain a tremendous amount of confidence. Physical activity can also help students succeed in school—and in life. Regular participation in physical activity has been linked to enhancement of brain function and mood which can positively influencing academic performance and improve mood.
With schedule in hand, you begin to look at all the great-sounding fitness classes you can slot in, not to mention some solo workouts and personal training appointments to really up your game. But your family? Not so enthused.
Just as we do every four years, many of us – and our kids – have spent a lot of time this summer watching elite competitions on television. These events have been inspiring and motivational — from gymnastics to swimming, top athletes truly show us the value of dedication and focus.
There are many types of gyms that are promoted as being family friendly, but at some of them, "kids activities" often involve being parked in front of a TV in a childcare area, or exercising only their thumbs because they're playing games on their iPads. At others, kids might get some activity, but it might be running around in a large space or inventing new forms of dodgeball.
That's unfortunate, because it represents a huge missed opportunity. When family members focus on fitness together—even if they're all pursuing different sports or workout options—it brings huge benefits in terms of family cohesion, motivating each other, and reduced stress.
For kids, taking classes that focus on skill building of some type can have advantages that extend far beyond the gym:
Most kids know the drill when it comes to team sports. Show up to practice. Be a team player. Listen to the coach. Hustle. Learn the skills of the sport like throwing, tackling, shooting, sprinting, or catching. And if there’s a little too much goofing off, practice might even include running some laps or cranking out a round of push-ups.
As school systems cut down on recess and gym classes, it's more important than ever for kids to get physical activity during other parts of their days. Exercise has a stunning amount of benefits for children and teenagers, from preventing obesity to encouraging better eating habits.
Many gyms rely on an adults-only environment when it comes to training and classes, and relegate kids to daycare or “freeform group exercise” that's mainly running around in an open space.
But with the decline in physical education classes at school, giving kids the opportunity to build skills and enjoy fitness and well-being has become more important than ever. Here are three reasons that your gym should offer exercise classes that focus on youth fitness: