Young children are an absolute delight, of course, but they can also make it tricky for parents to prioritize their health and fitness. Between tea parties, play dates, and those never-ending grocery store trips, squeezing in a workout can feel impossible at times. Fortunately, help is available. Many gyms offer childcare options for their members. While gyms with childcare may charge a small extra fee for the service, many parents find it well worth the cost.
Here are five big benefits to attending a gym that offers childcare:
1. Get the Exercise You Need to Thrive
The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise really can’t be overstated. While every person should incorporate regular exercise into their lives, parents can get even more out of working out. Exercise has been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety, which can help protect your mental health while you experience the many ups and downs of caring for young children. Exercise can also improve your sleep, a true gift to many sleep-deprived parents. Finally, regular exercise can help boost your energy levels, so you can keep up with your children all day long. A kid-friendly gym near you can allow you to drop off your kids in the care center and allow you to have the time and space to get in your workout. By taking this time for yourself, you can guarantee that you’ll stick to your exercise routine and enjoy all the great benefits exercise has to offer.
2. Give Yourself the Self-Care You Deserve
Parents deserve “me” time – just like anyone else. Bringing your young kids to a gym with daycare allows you to enjoy time alone and get your exercise in. You should absolutely not feel guilty about needing this time. In fact, caring for yourself can help you refuel on energy, patience, and empathy, allowing you to be your best self for your children.
The wonderful thing about using a gym’s childcare services is that you can spend your “me” time however you like as long as you stay at the gym. For some, that may mean taking a calorie-sizzling dance class or pumping some weights. For others, that might mean taking a relaxing yoga class or swimming laps in the pool. If you don’t have the energy for a tough workout, that’s one hundred percent okay. Writing for Men’sHealth.com, Melissa Petro calls her gym’s childcare program a “life hack” and admits that on the days she doesn’t feel like working out, she catches up on her favorite TV shows while walking on a treadmill. You can ease your aching muscles in the sauna or even take an extra long shower without the interruption of small fists on the bathroom door.
3. Get Daycare at a Steal
Some gyms with childcare offer their services for free as part of a membership. Others charge a small extra fee. Regardless of whether your gym charges you for childcare or not, you are still getting daycare services at a steal. Gyms charging for childcare services are almost always far less expensive than what a typical caregiver would ask for. Best of all, most gyms with daycare offer a wide range of hours, and many even include them on the weekends. This allows you to plan your gym time in advance or to take a trip to the gym with your children during most hours of the day. Just note that most gyms prefer you to book your childcare slots in advance to make sure they can be adequately staffed to take care of your little ones.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to stay on-site at the gym while your kids are in daycare; this doesn’t have to stop you from making the most of your free time. You can spend this time working out, taking a class, relaxing in the sauna, and more. Today’s gyms offer so much more than a workout. If you want a little extra “you” time after your workout, try the gym’s steam room or massage chairs. You can even catch a movie at the MOVEōS Cinema.
4. Socialization and Stimulation for Your Kids
You aren’t the only one who benefits when you join a fitness center with daycare. While you’re sweating away in a high-intensity interval training class, your children can be working on their socialization skills in the gym’s daycare center. Each childcare system is different, but most include fun games and toys to keep your children entertained. Childcare employees usually help children engage in age-appropriate activities that can stimulate creativity, like drawing. During this time, your children will learn to interact with children of other ages, backgrounds, and experiences who are also in daycare. This can be a great way for your children to learn skills like sharing toys, working together, and making friends.
5. You Set a Good Example to Your Children
You are your child’s very first role model. The example you set will help them begin to develop their understanding of the world and what things to prioritize. By continuing to visit the gym and bringing your children along, you will be making an unspoken statement that exercise and fitness are important for a healthy and happy life. Your children will become comfortable going to the gym and seeing you take your fitness seriously. As they grow older, they may naturally be curious about the gym and want to join you in your workouts. Many gyms allow tweens and teens to work out as long as they are with a parent. Once your children graduate from childcare, they may one day be working out with you.
Be a role model by taking care of your health and showing your children that exercise is a way of life. You could be instilling one of the best habits possible in your children.
How to Find a Gym with Daycare
Interested in joining a gym that has daycare? Take a look at gyms in your area and search their websites. Most gyms that allow kids will mention their childcare services on their website. Before you purchase a membership, make sure you understand how their childcare setup works. Here are a few questions to answer:
- Is childcare included in your membership or does the gym charge an extra fee?
- What are their childcare hours?
- Do you need to book childcare in advance?
- How long does each childcare session last?
- What is the age range of children they will take?
- Is there a limit to how much childcare you can request per week or month?
If your child has special needs, you may want to contact the gym to ask whether their childcare services can provide the care your child requires.
EōS Fitness is proud to offer its Kids’ Club childcare services at most of its facilities. Search for the nearest EōS Fitness and join a friendly, supportive kid-friendly gym near you.