The holidays offer special opportunities for family time - parties, visits from relatives, holiday traditions and more. But the child fitness experts at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center say that the New Year also brings an opportunity for family time – if parents and caregivers resolve to schedule regular time with their children for active play and other fitness activities.
“Parents need to focus on fun when they plan physical activities so that their kids will look forward to this special ‘family time’. This helps kids develop a positive attitude toward fitness that they will carry into their adult lives,” said chief marketing & entertainment officer for My Gym Enterprises, Matthew Hendison. “When families make it a point to schedule time for physical fun, they are teaching their children that fitness is important – just as important as other family priorities like work, school, church or volunteering.”
LetsMove.gov offers ideas and tools to help families make and keep a resolution to add family fitness activities to their everyday schedules. Even a simple change like taking a 30-minute walk after a meal three times a week offers real benefits in fitness – and family togetherness. Schedule one of the walks for a weekend morning, or break it up into two 15-minute walks in the morning and the evening, and this simple goal becomes doable even on hectic weekdays. The key, according to Hendison, is to set specific goals (not “walk more” but “walk 15 minutes after dinner every Tuesday and Thursday”) and make physical activity a priority, not something that you do “if you have time.”
Other ideas from Let’s Move to incorporate fitness activities into everyday living:
- Park at the far end of the parking lot and count with your children the number of steps from the car to your destination. Write the number down and see if you can park even farther away on your next stop.
- Establish a “screen time” family competition. Challenge the family to see who can do the most push-ups or jumping jacks during commercial TV breaks. (Limit “screen time” to no more than two hours of computer or television time per day unless it’s related to work or homework, with no screen time at all for children under two years of age.)
- Start a new family tradition. Celebrate special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries – with something active such as a hike, a volleyball game or a Frisbee® match.
By involving the whole family in learning about the importance of fitness and good nutrition, My Gym Children’s Fitness Centers are helping to combat one of society’s most troubling problems, the growing trend toward childhood obesity. Combining innovative physical early learning/pre-gymnastic classes with state-of-the-art facilities, My Gym Children’s Fitness Centers help children develop the skills, confidence and positive self-image needed to become healthy young adults.
“We work hard to keep the ‘fun’ in ‘fitness’ and focus on movement and individual progress to keep kids focused on their own personal goals,” said Hendison. “This non-competitive approach sets every child up for success and keeps kids excited about moving and learning about their own capabilities.”
Established in 1983, My Gym is the #1-ranking fitness center destination for children, with 200 locations worldwide including international locations in Hong Kong, France and Brazil among other countries. More than 30 additional locations are planned to open worldwide in the next 12 months. My Gym combines innovative, early physical education/pre-gymnastics classes with state-of-the-art facilities to empower children – ages 6 weeks to 13 years – by helping them acquire the skills, confidence and positive self-image needed to become healthy young adults. My Gym’s award-winning, structured, noncompetitive and age-appropriate classes enhance children’s overall physical development through games, music, exercise, sports, gymnastics, puppets, special rides and fun. The children gain strength, balance, coordination, fine and gross motor proficiency, agility, flexibility and social skills. The My Gym television show, “My Gym At Home” airs on BabyFirstTV, a 24/7 commercial-free channel focusing on children’s development.
Contact My Gym for information on franchise opportunities in the United States and worldwide.