Tulsa Moms and Dads Stay Fit--Little Ones Stay Safe
Experts have been extolling the virtues of physical activity for decades. We now know that engaging in any kind of activity, whether running, biking, swimming, weights, pilates, yoga...the list goes on, results in lasting physical and mental benefits. For most people, finding time to squeeze a little sweat out of an already busy schedule is tough, and for parents of young children, it can be even harder. So many plates spinning make getting to the gym a tactical mission.
Several Tulsa fitness centers offer programs that afford both parents and kids the time and space for a workout.
Travis Wood, VP of Operations at Sky Fitness said, “Sky Kids is a dedicated space” for children aged 6 weeks to 12 years. The area is accessible separately and adults are not permitted into the kids’ space. Wood said this makes the area safer and helps to make the separation process between parent and child easier.
In developing Sky Kids, safety was the primary concern.
“There are 5 video cameras so parents can see what their kids are doing from the fitness floor,” Wood said. “The bar code check- in process” ensures kids are with the right adults.
Staff for Sky Kids have undergone a “background check, they are first aid and CPR certified, many of them are current and former teachers, and the staff for infants is specialized,” Wood said.
At Sky the programs for kids differ by age group. Toddlers get a dedicated staff and focus their time on 10 different activities. The kids are always encouraged to be up and moving. For children 7 and up, Wood said Sky offers Kid Fit classes four times a week, so that while Mom and Dad sweat, the kids can too. Sky Midtown at 41st and Yale also boasts a 30-foot rock wall for kids. Sky Fitness also offers a regular Parent’s Night Out.
Another option for parents who want to work out is the YWCA. The YWCA has free drop-in childcare for kids 6 weeks to 12 years old, according to Melissa Baker, director of communications for the YWCA. Staff and space require interested members to reserve a spot prior to coming at the midtown and west locations. Parents make use of this service to attend fitness or swimming classes, and usually stay for an hour or so.
Families also can take advantage of the Y with classes for children. Starting at 6 months up to 3 years, little ones can take a Mommy or Daddy and Me swim class. After that, children can either continue taking swim lessons while parents attend other Y classes or register for the swim team. The swim team is for children from age 4 and up and “requires participants to swim the length of the pool, and some additional fees,” Baker said. The swim team practices year ‘round.
Swimming is not the only class available to children, Baker said, and referred interested people to the website for a complete listing. In addition to the classes listed, starting in February, Baker said the YWCA will be offering Zumba Kids for ages 5-10.
Any parent wishing to take advantage of kid friendly gyms needs to do his or her homework. Ask questions about safety, CPR certifications and staff–to-child ratio. Make sure to discuss time limits and how different situations might be handled. For example, at what point are parents retrieved from the fitness floor to attend a child? As with any childcare, know who is caring for the children and be clear with children about what is expected of them.