Kids deserve opportunities to be active and engaged — and to stay physically and mentally fit. Teaching your children about healthy habits and reinforcing them from a young age can help instill those values to improve their well-being for their long term.
“There are several benefits of introducing fitness to children at an early age — the obvious being a strong, healthy body,” says Jasmine de LaCruz, Life Time Academy Master Trainer and Kids Studio Classes content creator at Life Time. “But physical activity can also improve a child’s mental health by decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain, and loneliness. It can help improve focus, school performance, sleep, and energy levels. Further, children who participate in regular physical activity can also see improved relationships and have a more positive body image.”
She continues, “We, of course, want to encourage healthy behaviors in all aspects of kids’ learning and health, which is why in addition to fitness offerings, Life Time also has options to support brain development, nutrition, and social interactions, all of which can have tremendous positive impacts and benefit kids as they grow.”
To learn more about the offerings designed for kids, we spoke with de LaCruz and three other Life Time experts about the different classes options at Life Time and the many ways your child can get involved.
- Jasmine de LaCruz, Master Trainer and Kids Studio Classes content creator for Life Time in Garland, Texas
- Tori Limmel, kids and aquatics manager for Life Time Woodbury in Woodbury, Minn.
- Lindsay Payne, yoga boutique manager for Life Time Edina at Southdale in Edina, Minn. and Kids Studio Classes SOL yoga format creator
- Shelly Forsberg, director of kids programming for Life Time Kids
What types of classes does Life Time offer for kids?
We offer several options, including the following:
- Drop-In Classes are held all day for kids to come and join, whenever their parents or caregivers bring them. There are different options for ages 3 to 11 years, and the types of classes are varied, including tumbling, stretching, dancing, arts and crafts, sports, yoga, S.T.E.A.M., interactive nutrition games, and more.
- Progressive Classes last for six to 10 weeks and include multilevel, developmental curriculum available for kids ages 3 to 11. You can choose from dance, fitness, yoga, or gymnastics classes, making this the perfect option for children looking to explore their interests in those areas.
- Grown-Up and Me Classes are weekly fitness classes designed to provide parents an opportunity to participate and connect with their children through exercise. They are tailored specifically for toddler and preschool ages. “These classes help little ones build confidence and explore movement with the safety of their parents being alongside them. It also gives parents and children the opportunity to meet other families,” says Limmel.
- Kids Studio Classes are the newest offering for kids at Life Time: Kids ages 5 to 13 (grouped appropriately by development) can try some of the same Studio classes that mom and dad take at the club — but modified to fit their level. Three formats are currently available: LifeBarre, SOL yoga, and SHRED (with more options set to follow).
- GameFace Sport are 45-minute classes for kids ages 8 to 13 that teach fundamental skills, specifically speed, agility, and weightlifting. Kids will learn how to control their bodies while moving, building coordination between their mind, arms, and legs. From ladder drills to bodyweight lifting, children will improve skills through exercising and playing games. These classes will be available in nearly all club locations starting in the fall of 2021.
Note that offerings for classes vary by club location. Check with the Kids Team at your home club for more specific details.
Can you tell us more about the new Kids Studio Classes?
These are kid-friendly, 30-minute versions of some of our most popular adult studio, cycle, and yoga classes.
“The kids’ format of LifeBarre is intended to be experienced by dancers and nondancers alike,” says de LaCruz. “It’s a musically driven class that takes participants through segments of strength training, cardiovascular endurance, balance challenges, and some flowy mobility exercises. It fuses the joy of dance with the foundations of exercise.”
SOL yoga is also a playful format and is designed to deliver a fun way for kids to discover some of the most common yoga poses. “SOL is a dynamic class that encourages growth and exploration with the guidance of your breath,” says Payne. “We use a variety of poses with an energetic build, supporting and enhancing younger yogi’s strength, coordination, and flexibility.”
If your child could use a chance to burn off some serious energy, SHRED is a class worth considering. “SHRED is an energetic and self-paced total-body workout that’s appropriate for all ages and fitness levels,” says de LaCruz. “Instructors will lead participants through strength-training exercises with quick cardio bursts, allowing kids the opportunity to move, jump, and exert their power.”
Why do parents choose to send their kids to classes at Life Time?
Classes are the perfect opportunity for kiddos to establish healthy habits, make friends, build their community, burn energy, move their bodies, and learn about activities they enjoy. For parents, it’s a great way to expose children to a variety of activities without the financial or time commitment of other dedicated programs. They can also feel good knowing their kids are off devices and participating in healthy, supervised fun.
“This is a one-stop shop for your child to experience a wide variety of fun and engagement opportunities— and all of these classes are included in your Junior Membership,” says Forsberg. “We offer intentionally designed classes led by passionate instructors, plus the chance to meet new kiddos and parents. And the convenience is unmatched: drop-in or pre-register (depending on the class) your child and workout or enjoy the club while your kid is entertained in class with us.”
De LaCruz adds, “The members with families who have discovered the magic of our Studio classes won’t need much convincing to check out our new Kids Studio Classes. Fitness is meant to be fun no matter what age you are. Parents will appreciate the functional design of these classes, as well as knowing that our junior members are fully engaged and having fun.”
The skills and habits that kids can develop as the result of taking part in our classes can be lifelong. “Your kids will have the opportunity to grow their skills in teamwork, mind and body awareness, balance and coordination, and fitness and agility,” says Forsberg “Our classes encourage a positive work ethic, the discovery of passions, and building creativity and imagination.”
Sending your child to yoga classes specifically can also help support their mental well-being. “With yoga, children learn to connect with their bodies and that true strength begins on the inside,” says Payne. “Participating in yoga and mindfulness activities helps kiddos improve their emotional health in addition to their flexibility, mobility, and focus.”
Forsberg adds, “Because parents and their kids are able to participate in health-focused endeavors at the same time, in the same location — sometimes even doing similar activities — it can go a long way toward instilling those habits and forging a deeper connection as a family.”
How can parents find out about upcoming classes?
Daily class schedules can all be viewed in the Life Time Member App. Under “Class Schedules,” click “View All Classes” then add these filters: Youth Fitness, Kids Academy, Kids Studio, and GameFace Sport. You can also view the schedule online here.
If you would like to speak with a team member to learn more, reach out to the Kids Manager or Kids Leader at your club location.