Many if not all branches in the YMCA of San Diego have a family friendly program through which children from 7 – 12 can work out on specific equipment with a parent as their training partner. The families must go through a family orientation, the children wear a special wrist band, and they can only be in specified family friendly areas — and never without their parent. If the child is too small for any apparatus, the child and family are shown alternatives. Teens 13 and up can have a teen orientation and use the entire facility.
It isn’t possible to tell by your profile where you are, but if you do a search of local gyms you can check their sites and/or call to ask about policies. Although your ability to come with your daughter is an important factor, please spend some time thinking about what other factors are important to you: For example, what hours are you most likely want to get there? Even if they let your daughter in, if the hours you could arrive are when they are closing, or if they have policies on the hours she can use it that may not work for you.
Most of the Ys with which I am familiar have a tiered youth program. At a certain age you take a class, and then have access to certain activities/equipment, and at different levels more things become available. I think it is a good system, as before a certain age bones are still developing and lifting heavy weights may not be helpful. They are not, however, the only gyms to have such programs.
A club with a pool will often draw families, and so is likely to have a robust program for children/youth. But again, you want to consider what activities you wish to do together. That is another list to make before you start calling around. No point joining a place with racquetball but no zumba classes, if you really want to do zumba.
Good luck, and congratulations on making a decision to do something healthy together.
It really depends on the gym and their insurance.
Both of the gyms where I work are small, privately owned facilities. One allows youth aged 8 and up into cardio dance classes (Zumba, Fierce Funk), and weight-based classes at age 12. Another one allows full club access at age 13 as long as a parent is in the building until they’re 18.
Once you find a place that caters to your daughter’s age group, it’s still up to you as a parent to determine which classes are appropriate for her, based on her fitness level and your comfort with the instructor and the movements.
Hello Sophie Gowers,
My area choice is also YMCAs. I let children train with me after a waiver is signed by all parties, have a clear consultation, and the youth are accompanied by their adult at all times. I encourage families to move together; so, your question is lovely to see, thank you; keep up that great attitude.
If a gym will not allow you to workout as a family, try explaining these options to them, then, follow through with your responsibility and maybe we will see more families moving together.
Great job; keep looking for that family place.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
Check YMCAs. At mine, 13-15 year olds can take a teen certification and be allowed in to the fitness center. Kids 11-12 may be allowed in, if they have a doctor’s note citing a medical reason; they have to be accompanied by parents at all times, though. So check your local Y, perhaps yours would let her in!