7 Cool Fitness Classes for Kids
A recent look in our overstuffed storage closet highlights the truth about our own exercise efforts: we'll try anything—once (almost new boxing gloves and barely viewed PX90 DVDs, we're looking at you). But kids can't get enough of trying new things, so we're keen on expanding their athletic adventures with a new class or two that'll keep them moving, kicking—even hooping!—all winter long.
The summer Olympics might be your only exposure to the sport, but rhythmic gymnastics has a wide following for girls five and up. While the National Rhythmic Gymnastic Centre in Toronto has competitive streams, it also offers recreational programs so that girls at all skill levels can have fun, get great exercise and enjoy rhythmic gymnastics without the competition.
When a program promises to teach our kids personal discipline, attention, agility, strength and respect, it earns our attention. And when they deliver the way Krudar's Muay Thai classes have done for our kids, we're even more impressed. We just wish we could command the same sort of behavior at home, all the time (we're working on it!). Available at locations both downtown and in the Don Mills and Lawrence areas.
Skyzone is no longer the newest exercise option on the block, but their Toddler Time program on Tuesday's and Thursdays (check locations for participation) is a recent discovery, allowing our tots to tumble, jump and bounce without fear of being pummelled by a preteen or grown-up.
As every bad Hollywood remake proves, everything old can be new again, but in the case of Sugar Hoops, they've hit a home run with hula-hoop birthday parties and private classes (minimum number required). The younger set won't even know they're improving their fitness and working core muscles, but if you sign up for one of their adult classes, trust us, you'll find out almost immediately.
Synchro (Kids in Synch)
As the saying goes, in life you can either sink or swim—or synchro, as enthusiasts of the sport will joke. For kids who love water but want more of a team aspect to their aquatic pursuits, several Toronto swim clubs offer synchro classes for kids ages five and up, allowing them to learn the fundamentals while also increasing their strength, coordination and flexibility. Fun!
Zumba for Kids
The aerobics craze of our time arrived a few years ago and suddenly Zumba classes were popping up everywhere in adult fitness programs. While we never truly mastered the movement, Bravo's Dance and Fitness studio brings the fun and fitness of this exercise phenomenon and lets kids be a little more free spirited with the routines.
We'll never fully escape our kids' chauffer-required activities, but staying true to the calm, quiet and relaxed nature of the practice, it always seems counter-intuitive to rush us all hurriedly to yoga class. Which is why we love this at-home experience. Connect with friends, sign up a minimum of six or more kids, and clear some space in the playroom for yoga mats so the kids can enjoy some serene stretching time.
Good to know: Available anywhere in the GTA.