Life has changed dramatically since I was young.
We played games, outside. My children also play a lot of games – on the iPad!!
Which means that they don’t really get much scope to get active. Yes, there are parks but the weather doesn’t always permit and with winter upon us, it would be nice to be able to get children fit through exercise. Most gyms do not cater for young children. I had asked at mine (yes I do go to the gym – once a month). But Virgin Active has launched the Active Crew and I was quite happy to be called to experience it.
It is no secret that physical activity is as crucial to health as it is to intellectual development as it improves coordination, concentration and confidence. Virgin Active acting on this, is encouraging young children to get off their devices and come and join the Active Crew – a fitness programme aimed at 8 – 14-year-olds.
The Active Crew is a term of sessions where the children learn to develop confidence and also to work as a team. They also develop basic skills such as running, catching and throwing, strength, ability and core fitness.
How do they do this? The course contains several components one of which is Zuu Chimps where children are encouraged to copy animal movements and jump like frogs or crawl like bears.
Nathan Helberg, the founder of Zuu Chimps, which is exclusive to Virgin Active says “The beauty of Zuu Chimps is that its so fun kids don’t realise they’re really exercising. It is also all inclusive, meaning kids can enjoy it together and no one is segregated due to lack of fitness or hand-eye coordination.”
Active Crew also incorporates SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness) training and this is great for developing balance and co-ordination.
Now what did we think of the session.
Well, first of all when we walked into the Virgin Active Health Club on Saturday, I made a promise (which I haven’t kept) to go back daily to my gym. Only because, I saw all these lovely ladies with toned bodies doing exercises that clearly showed how fit they were. If I tried even half of them and managed to come out unscathed, I would celebrate. (with cake of course!)
Anyway, back to why we were there in the first place. Jadyn was invited to attend a session of the Active Crew. We were a little late so we missed the first part but we were in time for a bit of monkeying around.
Jadyn was not so enthusiastic about going to a fitness class at first but when I convinced her that we should at least give it a try and it sounded like fun, she agreed. She did have fun.
The instructors were very supportive and it helped Jadyn as she is not sporty at all. They were on hand to support and encourage and put everyone at ease. There were a lot of ‘high-fives’ all around. 🙂
Besides moving like bears, frogs, iguanas and gorillas, the children also exercised with equipment like Sandbells and Fitlights.
Between each mini session there was a tiny break for children to drink water and rest.
I thought the class was brilliant and great for children of the targeted age group. I think that classes like these could definitely encourage positive changes in children as they would bring about self confidence, which is sadly lacking nowadays. At this age, also, children are quite vulnerable and a course which raises confidence and improves health through exercise is vital for them. You also get to meet children from other schools and get to interact more.
We are going to be trying out the entire session so do please come back and find out how we fared. This will be in January.
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