Gyms that allow children to join are good places to get fit as an entire family. Childhood obesity is a serious issue and along with proper diet, an increase in physical activity can combat this problem. Before you sign up your child for an exercise program, talk to your doctor. He may require a physical examination before enrollment.
To find a gym that allows children to join, call local fitness centers. If you have a YMCA in your community, contact them to see what fitness programs are available to children and teens. Go over the options with your children to see if he would enjoy the activities. Set up a tour to meet the staff of the gym with your child and observe fitness classes. If you are joining the gym as a family, ask about any discounted rates.
If you allow your child to join a gym, the center should meet certain guidelines. The staff should be qualified to work with children and the center should offer programs specifically for children and teens. Children should be screened for any health problems and taught how to safely and correctly operate exercise equipment. Supervision should be available to ensure children do not use equipment that can harm them, like machines with heavy lifting requirements.
Some fitness centers have opened that are designed exclusively for children. For instance, the Youth Visions Fitness Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, accepts children between the ages of 5 and 16 into their fitness program. Participants spend an hour using circuit training equipment and also have access to a basketball court. Machines at the gym are smaller to accommodate children safely.
Even if a gym does not allow a child to join, they may extend babysitting services. Children are dropped off into a playroom and monitored by babysitters hired by the gym. Babysitting fees will either be free to members or you’ll need to pay for the extra service. Some fitness center chains, like Workout World, include cameras in the playroom and allow parents to monitor the children while they workout.