Posted on November 10, 2017 by Gordon Smith

Not only can a private gym can become part of family life, but if you have older children who are focusing more on screen time, then it can help set good habits for life. We tell you how.

It’s a sad fact that childhood obesity is increasing. In 2015, the number of obese 10- and 11-year-olds in their last primary school year rose to 20%. This is nearly one in five, with obesity being more prevalent in boys, at nearly 22%, compared to nearly 17.9% for girls.

This figure is the highest it’s been since the Government introduced the routine weighing and measuring of Reception and Year 6 children. The first round of results in 2006 was at 17.5% for 10 and 11 year olds, which shows that now really is the time to take action.

The impact of screen time

In a world of laptops, smartphones, tablets, on-demand TV and gaming, it’s easy for children to get caught-up and remain sedentary for long periods of time. One study showed that children between the ages of eight and twelve spend six hours a day looking at a smartphone.

According to the NHS, children aged 5 to 18 years of age should be doing 60 minutes of physical activity every day and reducing screen time.

As adults, we’re just as guilty of constantly checking our phones and emails and we also need a break from screens. Focusing on a regular exercise programme will bring about an improved sense of wellbeing, a more positive mindset and a well-earned break from technology.

This is all well and good, but realistically speaking, life is busy. How does a family get active amongst all other commitments, such as work, homework, school, after school activities and, perhaps more crucially, quality family time?

Why have a home gym for the family?

Firstly, if you’re torn between family membership or a private gym, then there are a range of elements to consider. If you look at the costs of family membership to a gym – which is increasing year on year – and combine it with travel costs, then it starts to look and feel like an expensive option.

This may be a surprising fact, but a private gym can be a more cost-effective option and start to show a return on investment in as little as three years.

Not only that, but sometimes it can be hard getting the whole family motivated to do general exercise, let alone go to the gym, and this is where the home gym can really add value. There are no bags to pack, traffic jams to negotiate, additional class costs or peak busy times to factor in.

Bringing older children into a home gym will also give them a break from screens and improve motivation. Not only that, but with the amount of time families spend together decreasing, it’s also a great opportunity for quality time.

Exercise reduces stress and improves mental health. Whether we like it or not, children are under more pressure and are feeling stressed, so a good workout can help them re-focus, feel more positive and energised.

Nick Sadler, Managing Director, m8group says:

“Making older children aware and getting them involved in regular exercise is setting a good example for them and future generations. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family and shake-off the day-to-day stresses of work and school.”

Another area that is also becoming increasingly common in schools and offices as a way to help manage stress, is mindfulness. A gym can be a great place to combine the two and have a mindful workout, which can leave the whole family feeling calmer and more energised.

And the post-natal home gym is an enormous boon to new mums who have limited flexibility to go out but want to improve fitness and strength after giving birth.

Friends and family?

The home gym can also become a social hub for friends and family to become an empowering space. Consider introducing motivators such as league tables or group training for a sporting event such as a Parkrun or Tough Mudder. This can help create friendly competition, as well as be a great unifier, giving friends and family a common purpose or goal to work towards.

Rob Clarke, Gym and Spa Consultant, m8 Group says:

“A home gym provides a great opportunity for a family to switch-off from the day-to-day, spend quality time together, as well as reconnect and bond.”

Not only that, but cardio equipment, such as treadmills, now also have Internet access. Using this technology to sync with iPads or iPhones can be a great incentive for tech-savvy children to learn more about healthy eating and exercise.

Finally …

The great thing about a private gym is that there are options to suit every budget and every need. This is particularly pertinent if you’re creating a gym for the whole family. With motive8, a family can have a home gym installed from as little as £1,000, which is cheaper than a year’s family membership to a gym.

Not only do we suppply and install, but we also provide consultancy and ongoing maintenance to keep you and your family active. Sounds great? Then, what are you waiting for?

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