Sunday, 2 July 2017

Family fitness goals | Part one



A few weeks back, we went for our first look around our local David Lloyd Leisure club. The kids had a blast, and we all agreed to sit down and set some family fitness goals for the summer. Predictably, they revolve around the pool...

With both a huge indoor pool and a really lovely outdoor heated pool, it would seem churlish not to aim for regular swims. All five kids LOVE swimming but they are at different levels in the water. So it's not quite a case of throw them all in at the deep end and hope for the best.

The eldest, AC, ten, is a keen swimmer - it's something that has come from regular swimming lessons which he started when in swim nappies and have only ended now he can swim confidently. He never really loved lessons but now he can swim unguarded, he's far more into the sport. AC's eyes lit up on his first visit to David Lloyd - not at the outdoor pool which we used to initially break all the kids in but at the luxurious indoor pool. "I want to do 50 laps. The pool is loads warmer and nicer than my old one. That's what I want to do!" After this, the F.I.T (Fitness Into Teens) sessions start for 11+ year olds - and with AC nearly eleven, these are the next things to explore this summer.

A is nine and also a competent swimmer. He still attends weekly lessons but these focus on technique rather than learning to swim. He's not a huge fan of the lessons (declaring them 'boring' more often than not), so we're keen to ensure he develops a true love of swimming of his own accord. Like AC, he loved the look of the indoor pool and the pair of them have set themselves a challenge to do a sponsored swim together, raising money for our family charity this year (raising £500 for Bristol's homeless charities).

F, 8, is still making her mind up. She likes gymnastics, swimming and will always join in with football and other games in the park. Work and school means Flo would like to spend more 'solo' time with her dad - playing tennis together feels like the perfect fit, plus it can expand to include doubles with the rest of the family. Our local David Lloyd has 18 tennis courts (12 indoor and six outdoor) so add on a couple of DL Kids lessons (for F not her dad), we can make sure we choose the right group activity.

T, 6, is full of beans, all the time! He couldn't decide what to focus on at David Lloyd, instead declaring that he wanted to do it all. He was very intrigued when we went past one of the kids' clubs and saw the group having so much fun. 'I'd like to try it please mum!'. Sounds good to me.

S, 6, is probably the sportiest of the kids - he can run fast (as he constantly says!), is competitive and not scared of trying team sports even if older kids are involved. 'I really like swimming but I want to try something else. I like playing tennis so I could try that or the badminton.' Right now, the July sun means S is loving the outdoor pool but we're already looking at the DL Kids club and, if it all goes well, Tennis All Star lessons for ages 3-18 - a smart way to sample the full David Lloyd experience and build S's confidence before working up.

Since last November, Mike has been working in London which involves staying over in London and long commutes. It's meant he's had to give up his regular five-a-side games, less cycling around Bristol plus has no time in the week to visit the gym, let alone for a quick post-work swim. This means activity is limited to weekends although Mike is looking at the David Lloyd branches in London for when he stays over. 'I'd like to make the most of the time I have at David Lloyd. That means getting used to the full range of gym equipment all over again then seeing what lessons are applicable - I'm good with strength equipment and HIIT sessions but useless at longer stamina-based workouts so need to work on that. I'll be trying a couple of Taster Sessions so I can see what's on offer first-hand. I'd also like to find a competitive sport for me and Lottie to play - we're both fiercely competitive with each other, when playing Backgammon or even challenging each other on word search apps. We enjoyed mucking about with badminton racquets on a recent weekend away so that's a possibility and somehow I've never played squash in my life! Our local club has three squash and four badminton courts so we've no excuse!'

And me? Well, I just want to get myself moving a little more. Working from home means there are days when my step count is embarrassingly low. Our local David Lloyd is just around the corner from school so there's no excuse not to head there straight after. I'm planning on trying the yoga classes, some of the gym based work and taking up the Coach to 5k challenge again.

Come back in October to see how we got on!

davidlloyd.co.uk/family-and-kids

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Disclosure: 
We are working with David Lloyd Leisure who have given us a family membership to try out. 
All words are our own.
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