With childhood obesity on the rise, making sure children are physically active is more important than ever. Here is a range of exercise classes in the UAE specifically geared towards little ones, which will hopefully instil a positive, long-lasting mindset regarding fitness.
CrossFit Kids at Vogue Fitness – CrossFit Yas
CrossFit may be all the rage with adults, but kids are now able to get in on the action as well, with a class just for them at Vogue Fitness – CrossFit Yas. Focusing on components such as agility, balance, coordination, endurance, flexibility and strength, children of all ages are able to get involved, with classes offered for tots (ages 2 to 4), kids (ages 5 to 9), tweens (10 to 12), and teens (13 to 16).
The tots class runs from 9am to 9.45am on Saturdays; kids and tweens from 4.30pm to 5.15pm on Sundays and Wednesdays, and 10am to 10.45am on Saturdays; teens from 5pm to 6pm, Sunday to Thursday. For more, see www.vfuae.com
Fit Kids at Abu Dhabi Country Club
Fit Kids is aimed at kids between the ages of 5 and 12. The classes vary from week to week, but usually involve different types of games to get children to think, process information and react. Kids also get to practise athletic skills such as jumping, hopping, balancing and twisting, as well as ball skills. Every session finishes with an obstacle course where the children jump, climb, dodge, swing, tumble, balance and flip their way through different pieces of equipment set around the room. The aim is to develop enjoyment of movement in any form that will turn little athletes into active, healthy adults, with physical and mental skills to make them confident to try new things.
The class runs Sundays and Thursdays, from 4.35pm to 5.25pm. It costs Dh60, or Dh600 for 12 classes on a prepaid fitness pass, or is included if the child is on a family membership
Yoga Kids at Sweat Fitness, Nolu's
Sweat recently opened in Abu Dhabi as part of Nolu's, near Al Seef Mall. It offers a 30-minute Yoga Kids class with instructor Rajveer Sharma, who teaches kids yoga basics and helps them to develop better body awareness, self-control, flexibility and coordination skills. It is aimed at children ages 6 to 12 and has a class capacity of nine.
The class is offered from 4pm to 4.30pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and costs Dh55
Zumba Kids at Fitness First Dubai
What better way to get a child moving than by shaking and grooving in a Zumba class? The kid-friendly class is for children between 7 and 11 years and helps them to get active by jamming to their favourite music. Classes break down the steps, and add games and activities to the structure. This helps children to develop a positive attitude towards health, and also develop leadership skills, self-confidence, memory, creativity and coordination.
Available at Fitness First in Uptown Mirdiff, Arabian Ranches, Sahara Centre and Mirdif City Centre, membership required, with different rates available. Find out more at www.fitnessfirst.ae
Bootcamp at Fit Republik
This circuit-style programme is aimed at children between 6 and 15 years and focuses on movements that get kids fitter while having fun. It also promises improved physical literacy, agility, strength, speed, stamina and fewer sport injuries. Children are taught the correct technique for each workout.
The bootcamp for kids between 6 and 9 runs on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm; for 10 to 15-year-olds there are two sessions: Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm, and Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6pm. Junior memberships start at Dh1,700 per term (about three months). Visit www.fitrepublik.com
Dab Fitness at Fitness Zone, JLT
This fast-paced cardio class consists of indoor group games that allow children to develop their fitness through challenging team-building exercises, while performing fundamental fitness moves such as squats, push-ups and jumping jacks, in a wild but fun atmosphere. The group is aimed at kids between 4 and 12, with a capacity of 20.
The class is offered on Mondays from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, and Fridays from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. There is a free trial day pass and offers available. A 12-class pass is Dh850 and a 24-class pass is Dh1500