Physical activity is crucial for children and teens to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With the rise of sedentary activities like gaming and social media, it's more important than ever to encourage kids to get moving.
Enrolling in a gym or fitness program can be an excellent way for children and teens to stay active, but not all gyms allow minors to participate. In this article, we will explore seven gyms that welcome kids and teens, along with their policies and pricing, to help families find a suitable option.
We will also discuss the benefits of exercise for children, such as improved physical health, mental health, and academic performance. Additionally, we will provide tips for keeping kids safe and happy while working out, including recommended activity levels and weight lifting guidelines.
By empowering parents and guardians with information about gym options and the benefits of exercise, we hope to inspire children and teens to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
7 Gyms That Allow Kids
If you're a parent looking for a gym that allows children and teens, you may be wondering which gyms are the best options. In this article, we'll explore seven gyms that allow kids and teens, along with their policies and prices.
1. Planet Fitness
Minimum age requirement: 13 to sign up with a parent or legal guardian; 15 to work out unsupervised with a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian
Membership discounts for minors? No (but teens aged 15-18 can work out for free from May 15 through September 1)
Planet Fitness is beginner-friendly and affordable, making it an excellent option for teens to establish a workout routine. However, it's essential to note that Planet Fitness does not have barbells or heavy dumbbells. This can be an advantage for inexperienced teens who may be tempted to lift weights that are too heavy for them. Planet Fitness is also not very tolerant of loud noises or disruptive behavior in the gym. Parents should keep a close eye on their teen if they are not mature enough to act appropriately in the gym.
Minimum age requirement: Varies; memberships for kids as young as 6 months are available, but children have to be 15-16 to work out unsupervised
Membership discounts for minors? Cheaper memberships available for youth
The YMCA is family-friendly and has options for children as young as six months. They offer free weights, selectorized machines, and cardio machines, as well as amenities such as swimming pools and basketball courts. The YMCA offers youth sports leagues, performing arts programs, and camps. This broad range of activities can help children find something they're passionate about and meet other kids their age.
3. 24 Hour Fitness
Minimum age requirement: 12; whether adult supervision is required varies by location
Membership discounts for minors? No (though high school students can go to 24 Hour Fitness for free during the summer months)
24 Hour Fitness has a wide range of cardio machines, free weights, and selectorized machines that children can use. They also offer amenities such as basketball courts, pools, and group classes. High school students can use 24 Hour Fitness facilities for free during the summer months. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 can work out without adult supervision, though some locations require adult supervision. A parent or legal guardian must sign a membership agreement on behalf of the child.
4. Gold's Gym
Minimum age requirement: 12 (must be accompanied by an adult)
Membership discounts for minors? Yes, family add-ons available for discounted rates (varies by location)
Gold's Gym is welcoming to people of all skill sets and ages, including children and teens. An adult must join and sign a membership agreement, and then a child can be added to the plan for a discounted rate. Prices vary by location, but adding a minor can cost as little as $10 more per month. Gold's Gym has a plethora of cardio and strength training equipment. Children between the ages of 12 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult, but they can start working out on their own once they turn 17. A parent or legal guardian must sign a membership agreement on behalf of the minor.
5. Life Time Fitness
Minimum age requirement: 12; children aged 0-11 must be accompanied by an adult at all times
Membership discounts for minors? Yes, discounted rates available for youth
Life Time Fitness offers a range of amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, group fitness classes, and fitness equipment. They also have youth programs such as martial arts classes and sports leagues. Life Time Fitness offers discounts for youth memberships, but the rates vary by location. Children between the ages of 12 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and children aged 0-11 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
6. Crunch Fitness
Minimum age requirement: 13 to sign up with a parent or legal guardian; 16 to work out unsupervised
Membership discounts for minors? No
Crunch Fitness offers a wide range of cardio and strength training equipment, as well as group fitness classes. They do not offer discounted rates for minors, and children between the ages of 13 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Teens aged 16 and older can work out unsupervised.
Minimum age requirement: 14 (varies by location)
Membership discounts for minors? No
Equinox offers cardio and strength training equipment, group fitness classes, and amenities such as pools, steam rooms, and saunas. They also offer personal training for teens aged 14 and up. Equinox does not offer discounted rates for minors, and their minimum age requirement varies by location.
Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe and Happy While Working Out
– Don't let them work out unsupervised.
– Ask for help from a coach or personal trainer.
– Make sure they eat enough.
– Help them find an activity they enjoy.
– Don't make negative comments about their body.
Age Requirements and Policies
The age requirements and policies for gyms that allow children and teens vary by establishment, with some requiring a parent or legal guardian present during sign-up and others offering discounted pricing for minors or free summer memberships for high school students. For instance, the YMCA, Gold's Gym, and Life Time Fitness offer family membership options that allow parents to supervise their children while working out.
Some gyms, such as Planet Fitness, have specific age requirements for unsupervised workouts and require a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Additionally, some gyms may offer youth fitness programs or camps to encourage children and teens to participate in physical activities while instilling healthy habits.
Parental supervision is an important aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of children and teens while working out at the gym. Most gyms require a parent or legal guardian to be present on the gym floor while their child is working out. For children who are interested in lifting weights, it is recommended that they work with a qualified personal trainer to ensure proper form and technique.
Moreover, gyms may offer youth fitness programs or camps to engage children and teens in physical activities and promote a healthy lifestyle. By providing a safe and welcoming environment for young people to work out and participate in fitness programs, gyms can help instill healthy habits that will benefit them well into adulthood.
Membership Discounts for Minors
Despite concerns about the cost of gym memberships for minors, some gyms offer discounted pricing options, making it more accessible for parents and guardians to enroll their children and teens in fitness programs.
The YMCA, Gold's Gym, and Life Time Fitness, for example, offer family membership options that can significantly reduce the cost of enrolling children and teens in fitness programs.
Some gyms may also offer rates cheaper than adult memberships or add teens to a family plan, which can make it more affordable for families to prioritize their children's fitness.
Teen fitness trends have shifted in recent years, with more young people interested in fitness activities beyond traditional team sports.
Gyms that offer a variety of activities, such as Life Time Fitness with their sports programs and Equinox with their hundreds of classes per week, can be especially appealing to teens looking for new ways to stay active.
Additionally, gyms that offer discounts or free memberships during the summer, such as 24 Hour Fitness, can encourage teens to stay active during their school break.
These options can make it easier for parents and guardians to encourage their children to prioritize their fitness and overall health.
Benefits of Working Out
One potential benefit of engaging in regular physical activity is an increase in bone mineral density. Children and teens who engage in regular exercise, including weight-bearing activities like running, jumping, and resistance training, are likely to have stronger bones than those who are sedentary. This can be especially important during adolescence, when bone growth is at its highest, and can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Physical activity has also been linked to improved academic performance and mental health benefits in children and adolescents. A study published in the Journal of School Health found that students who participated in regular physical activity had higher grades and standardized test scores than those who were less active. Additionally, physical activity has been shown to improve mood, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve overall mental well-being in children and teens. These benefits highlight the importance of regular physical activity for young people and underscore the potential role of gyms in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
|Increased Bone Mineral Density||Engaging in weight-bearing activities can strengthen bones||Reduce risk of osteoporosis later in life|
|Improved Academic Performance||Regular physical activity has been linked to higher grades and test scores||Better academic outcomes|
|Mental Health Benefits||Physical activity can improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression||Improved mental well-being|
Recommended Activity Levels
Engaging in regular physical activity is crucial for individuals of all ages, and it is recommended that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day, including two days of weightlifting.
The type of physical activity that children and teens engage in can vary, and it is important to find activities that they enjoy. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and swimming can provide a fun and engaging way to get exercise, while indoor activities such as team sports, dance classes, and gym workouts can offer a structured and social environment for physical activity.
While physical activity is important, rest and recovery are equally crucial for children and teens who engage in regular exercise. Adequate sleep, hydration, and nutrition are all essential components of rest and recovery. Additionally, it is important to incorporate rest days into a fitness routine to allow the body to recover and prevent injury.
Encouraging children and teens to listen to their bodies and not push themselves too hard can also help prevent overuse injuries and burnout. By prioritizing both physical activity and rest, children and teens can develop healthy habits that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Weight Lifting for Kids and Teens
Weightlifting can be a safe and effective form of exercise for young individuals when done under proper supervision and with proper form, however, rest and recovery are equally important components of a fitness routine.
Child-friendly equipment is available at many gyms that welcome minors, including resistance bands, medicine balls, and bodyweight exercises. These alternatives to free weights and weight machines can help young individuals build strength without putting excessive strain on their developing bodies.
When minors do use weights, it is important to follow proper weight lifting techniques to reduce the risk of injury. This includes starting with lighter weights, using proper form, and gradually increasing the weight as strength and skill improve.
A qualified personal trainer can help ensure minors are using proper technique and can create a safe and effective weight lifting program tailored to their individual needs. With the right guidance and equipment, weightlifting can be a valuable addition to a child or teen's fitness routine.
Tips for Safe and Happy Workouts
To ensure a safe and enjoyable workout experience, it is important to follow certain tips and guidelines when exercising as a minor.
One of the most crucial factors is proper nutrition. Children and teens need to eat enough to fuel their workouts and promote healthy growth and development. Encourage them to eat a balanced diet that includes protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
Another tip for safe and happy workouts is to find fun workout ideas that kids and teens enjoy. This can help keep them motivated and engaged in their fitness routine. Some ideas include dance classes, sports leagues, yoga, or outdoor activities like hiking or biking.
It is also important to make sure they are properly supervised and have access to qualified coaches or trainers who can provide guidance and support.
By following these tips and guidelines, children and teens can safely and effectively achieve their fitness goals and enjoy the many benefits of exercise.
Additional Gym Information
Information about policies and membership options for minors varies by gym, making it important to contact the specific gym for more details.
Each gym has its own set of rules regarding the age at which children and teens can use the gym facilities, and some may have additional requirements, such as parental supervision or signed waivers. It is also important to note that some gyms only allow minors to use certain equipment or machines, such as cardio machines and not free weights or weight machines. Therefore, it is essential to do research and contact the gym directly to ensure that the child or teen is able to use the facilities safely and effectively.
In addition to policies, it is important to consider customer service when choosing a gym for a child or teen. Some gyms have personal trainers or coaches available to help children and teens with their workouts and provide guidance on proper form and technique. Others may offer classes or activities specifically for kids and teens, such as sports leagues or performing arts programs. It is also important to consider the atmosphere of the gym, as a bright and energetic environment may be more motivating for children and teens.
Overall, when selecting a gym for a child or teen, it is important to consider both the policies and facilities as well as the customer service and atmosphere to ensure a positive and safe experience.
When selecting a gym for a minor, it is important to consider the age requirements and policies of each establishment to ensure a safe and positive experience. Gym amenities and staff qualifications should also be taken into account. Some gyms may have a limited selection of equipment available for children and teens, while others may offer a wide range of activities and classes specifically designed for young people. It is important to choose a gym that not only welcomes children and teens, but also provides equipment and activities that are appropriate for their age and fitness level.
In addition, it is important to consider the qualifications of the gym staff. Personal trainers and coaches should be properly certified and trained to work with children and teens. They should be able to provide guidance on proper form and technique while also creating a fun and engaging workout environment. A gym that values the safety and well-being of their young members will ensure that their staff is knowledgeable and experienced in working with children and teens.
By considering these factors, parents and guardians can select a gym that will provide a safe and enjoyable fitness experience for their children and teens.
Summary and Conclusion
It can be challenging to find a gym that allows children and teens, but it's worth the effort to help your child establish a regular exercise routine. Many gyms have minimum age requirements and rules on which equipment minors can use, and some don't offer discounted pricing for teens. However, there are still plenty of options available. The 7 best gyms that allow kids and teens are Planet Fitness, YMCA, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold's Gym, Life Time Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and Equinox.
While the rules for taking kids and teens to the gym vary by gym, most require parental supervision for children under the age of 16. It's crucial to ask about a gym's policies before signing up for a membership. Some gyms offer cheaper memberships for youth, while others have family plans that allow multiple family members to sign up under one plan.
The benefits of working out for kids and teens are numerous. Exercise improves bone mineral density, helps with academic performance, reduces the risk of disease, aids in weight management, and improves confidence and mental health. Although the recommendations for physical activity for children and teens differ from those for adults, most children and teens should be exercising every day, with most of that exercise coming from cardio activities like running or swimming. Two days a week should be dedicated to lifting weights, as resistance training is beneficial for kids and teens.
There is a common misconception that lifting weights is dangerous for children and teens, but research shows that strength training in preadolescent children produces significant improvements in muscular strength and fine motor skills. As long as a child is lifting weights under the supervision of an adult or qualified personal trainer who can teach them proper form, there likely won't be any negative consequences. Children as young as 7 can start resistance training and reap a ton of benefits from it.
In conclusion, finding a gym that allows children and teens is possible. It's essential to ask about a gym's policies before signing up for a membership and to supervise children under the age of 16. The benefits of exercise for kids and teens are numerous, including improved bone mineral density, academic performance, disease prevention, weight management, and confidence and mental health. Resistance training is beneficial for children and teens, and it's safe as long as they are lifting weights under supervision and with proper form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any gyms that offer specialized programs for children and teens, such as sports training or dance classes?
Several gyms offer sports-specific programs and classes for children and teens, including the YMCA, Life Time Fitness, and Equinox. These programs provide a variety of benefits, such as improved physical fitness, socialization, and skill development.
What should parents look for when choosing a gym for their child or teen, besides age requirements and policies?
When choosing a gym for their child or teen, parents should consider child-friendly amenities such as a Kids' Club or youth sports leagues. Safety measures to look for include proper supervision, qualified personal trainers, and policies regarding free weights and weight machines.
Can children and teens use the same equipment as adults at all of these gyms, or are there restrictions?
Some gyms may have restrictions on what equipment children and teens are allowed to use. It is important to check with the gym and ensure that child-friendly equipment is available and proper safety measures are in place.
How can parents encourage their child or teen to stay motivated and interested in working out?
To encourage children and teens to stay motivated and interested in working out, parents can incorporate fun workouts and help them set realistic goals. This can include trying new activities and providing positive reinforcement, which can ultimately lead to a lifelong love of fitness.
Are there any gyms that offer nutritional guidance or meal planning services for children and teens?
Some gyms may offer meal planning services and nutritional guidance for children and teens, but policies vary by gym. Contact the gym directly for specific information on these services.