(ARA) – Even if you work through the summer, longer days and warmer weather entices us into a vacation frame-of-mind. Regardless of our age, we can’t help but anticipate fun in the sun and the promise of a few months of carefree living.
For parents though, the summer season might be met with trepidation. Trying to work, stay fit, and keep kids active while they’re on summer break can be challenging without the structure of a school day and the schedule you’ve spent the last nine months perfecting.
Unless you’re a member of Life Time, the Healthy Way of Life Company. This family fitness and wellness resort with 92 locations in 21 states across the country, has the ultimate design on summer family fun and fitness for parents and kids alike.
“I’d say we belong to a country club at an affordable price,” says Allyson Corchado, mom of three and a member of the Life Time Athletic in Scottsdale, Ariz. Corchado likes to take a yoga class before her son’s swim lesson. They can both be active under the same roof. No need to drive across town from one place to the next.
“The LifeSpa is also a bonus,” Corchado says. “I can get a manicure and pedicure with peace-of-mind thanks to the child center.”
Margarita Pripilitsky, another Life Time Athletic member in Scottsdale, says she joined Life Time because she wanted more interaction and age-appropriate activity for her 8-year-old son. “With the recommendation of a friend I came to Life Time and was blown away. Can I skip running on the treadmill and just hang out at the child center?”
Whether parents decide to play with their kids, work out or get a hair cut at Life Time, they know their children won’t be sitting around in the Life Time Child Center, where more than 6,000 square feet is designed in such a way that kids will be too busy having fun to miss mom and dad. Infants, three months to one year have their own space for napping, rocking or tummy time and toddlers can play with developmental toys and participate in activities like parachute games. Active play is always in order and at certain times during the day children ages 6 to 11 can enjoy the Kids Play program, activity that encompass sports skills, games like scooter hockey and crab tag, even kids yoga. They are pint-sized group fitness classes.
Life Time also offers an array of sports and fitness classes for kids, from martial arts and gymnastics to dance and rock climbing. Instead of spending time and gas money shuttling kids to different studios each week, parents can come to one place and have something to do while they wait, whether that’s meeting with a personal trainer or reading a book pool side. Whatever it is you choose to do, you won’t have to interrupt your summer fun. Staff will escort your child from the child center to their class. That means kids get two hours in the child center plus the class time. That translates into more time for you to workout, relax and enjoy everything summer is supposed to be.
“It’s seamless and easy,” says Tanya Lugo, a Life Time member in Berkeley Heights, N.J., whose two children often transfer between lessons and the child center. “When I have my children enrolled in something I just leave instructions to escort them to the child center after the lesson and I let the child center staff know where I’ll be. The staff is very flexible and helpful.”
This affords Lugo time for a workout and a trip to the spa. When her husband, Luis, brings the kids to Life Time, he takes time to hit the pool. The Lugos children have participated in swim lessons, cheer and sport classes, rock climbing and summer camp.
“Sharing physical activities under one roof with your family isn’t just a good way to get your heart pumping and burn calories. It’s also a great way to build family bonds,” Lugo says. “When you make fitness a fun part of kids’ everyday lives, they’ll be more likely to exercise when they’re grown. That’s your greatest gift to them.”
At Life Time kids have the opportunity to make fitness a part of their world, too, which encourages them to take ownership of their health in a time when most American kids need more activity.
“School recess isn’t enough,” says Christina Parmley, National Activities Director for Life Time. “Parents are struggling to make sure their kids get access to the physical activity they need to grow up healthy. At Life Time we’re striving to help children learn how to make healthy choices. We provide access to physical education and include the role nutrition plays in growing up healthy.”
That’s exactly the sort of message Karen Schupp, a Life Time Fitness member in Chanhassen, Minn., wants her children to hear. “As a busy mom of two I rely on the child center to help me get my workouts in, but it’s also important to me that my kids grow up active,” she says. While Schrupp enjoys classes like Total Conditioning, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and Strike! she knows her kids are on the move, too. “My kids don’t complain about going, either. This is not about what mom wants to do. We all want to go.”
Schupp’s children will attend Life Time Kids Summer Camp this year. “I’m thrilled with everything that’s offered. The themes are fun for the kids and the program is so dynamic. We’re all excited about it.”
The summer camp program is exactly what you’d expect from Life Time. Summer camps combine everything a kid wants to do with everything a parent wants, too: active play, learning, and nutrition skills. Life Time Kids programs is one step ahead on convenience. Swim lessons? They’ll make sure your child gets to and from their swim lesson when they’re scheduled during their camp session.
“We’re just helping mom and dad free up some time on the weekend or weeknight by including the option for lessons during the day,” noted Parmley.
Free time? Yes, please!
Those camps include 12 signature, kid-approved themes each week. “They tie fitness and nutrition together so kids are staying active all day, while learning different nutrition concepts each week through games and other fun activities,” Parmley says.
For example, during Gross and Gooey Science week, campers will learn how the human body functions and the critical role protein plays in muscle development and bone strength and which protein choices are the best to make at home and school. During Super Buffet week, campers will learn about making better food options and travel to a local farm, tour a grocery store or focus on nutrition labels.
Summer campers will enjoy a brand new catering menu from LifeCafe that includes platters of cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, quesadillas and pizza – all made without food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, trans fats and bleached flours. Lunches also offer fruit, pretzels and organic milk or juice.
Any meal is a healthy meal at the LifeCafe, something members appreciate whether they’re grabbing a quick breakfast or having dinner as a family after a long day.
“When I go there I don’t have to worry about getting a bunch of junk,” Schupp says. “No matter what choices my kids make, I know what they end up eating will be healthy.”
Pripilitsky concurs. “I go straight from daycare to Life Time at the end of the day and I don’t have to grab a bag of fast food on the way,” she says. “The fact that the LifeCafe has healthy meals is a definite plus for my busy lifestyle.”
Life Time helps families slow down the pace and simplify their schedule. As a family fitness and wellness resort, Life Time is an oasis for summer fun. Even working parents can experience the “vacation” in summer vacation.
Corchado likes the fact she can “earn” her downtime first. “The plan is for my husband and I to work out together on the weekend and then the whole family can hang out by the outdoor pool.”
That’s a summer schedule we can all get used to.
Start having healthy fun with your family this summer. Visit lifetimefitness.com/familyfun.