My family has never worked out together. Ever. As much as I love fitness, we’ve never considered this group activity. Why? First, Husband doesn’t get excited about the prospects of working out. He was always an athlete and needs something competitive to get him moving. And second, my kids are four and three years old. They run around enough as it is. Despite our affinity for lounging, we all loved our family workout at Fitness for Health in Rockville, MD; the workout facility from the future.
Fitness for Health uses what they call “exergaming systems” which are designed to inject fun and competition to help users build core skills, self confidence, and a healthy body. Many of the activities and systems are designed by professional athletic teams and are as engaging as they are challenging. They not only work your body but also your mind. This cognitive-physical interplay provides the extra “neuro-workout” you won’t get anywhere else.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went in for our family workout session. All I knew was that it was 60 minutes long, their equipment is unlike anything I’d ever seen before, and Husband was going to love it. When we walked in the door, we were immediately greeted with warm smiles and friendly staff. They guided us through seven activities and genuinely enjoyed watching us (ungracefully) workout. At first my kids were shy and hesitant, but as time went on, they couldn’t get enough. I mean, how many kids dislike playing games and running around?
Our first activity set the tone for what was to be a fun-filled hour. We stood on a ten foot by ten foot video dance floor that had hundreds of pixels on it (it looks kind of like the machine from Dance Revolution at an arcade, or if your kids are a fan of Paw Patrol, it’s like the floor on “pup-pup-boogie”). Our goal was to remove all of the pixels as quickly as possible by stepping on them. Once we had mastered that exercise, dozens of boxes appeared and our goal was to only step on boxes of certain colors. Now that our heart rates were up and our legs were warm, the whole floor turned one color and a ball appeared. The ball bounced back and forth from one side of the dance floor to the other, and our goal was to avoid it. At this point there were smiles on all of our faces, even though we were out of breath!
From the dance floor we moved to a 30 foot long trampoline where we raced from one end to the other and climbed up a 15 foot padded wall (Husband just had to be first to the top). We then played a game of “catch the birdie” where the Fitness for Health employees threw badminton birdies at us while we tried to catch them in butterfly nets (challenging and fun). After that, Husband’s favorite activity was sort of a “whack a mole” game where he had to throw over-sized tennis balls at targets on a wall when they lit up. Flash and Butter Cheeks loved this game and it helped them to develop their hand-eye coordination and decision making/reaction time.
|In the corner is the sweet Founder and President, Mark Sickel|
The final two activities were probably the most popular of the day – a black light room made entirely of rock climbing walls, and a laser maze! The rock climbing wall was unlike anything we’d ever seen before with interactive lights on the walls that we had to tap in order to complete certain goals. And the laser maze was akin to the famous Catherine Zeta-Jones scene from the movie Entrapment. Here’s another clip of us climbing the rock wall:
As I said earlier, the boys were a bit reluctant at first, and Husband was not looking forward to working out – but by the end of the hour none of us wanted to leave. The creative and entertaining activities that Fitness for Health offered had us all craving more.
If you’re interested in learning more about their kid, family, and adult programs, visit their site. You can also attend their Open House held the first Sunday of every month!