Writer ∙ Author ∙ Journalist

Fit & Fun

Today's Parent / April 2013

Put a little spring in your step this month with new exercise options for the whole family.

Fitfix Junior Health and Wellness Inc: Core Stability Balance
Designed to complement a kid’s extracurricular sports – whether gymnastics, hockey, skiing or swimming – this class, part of the Sport Specific Movement and Injury Prevention program, focuses on strengthening little cores. Kids in two age levels (four to six and six to eight) start with a general warm-up, move into strength and coordination exercises and finish with a stretching cool-down. Centrally located at Yonge and Eglinton. Sessions run for seven or eight weeks, $23.50/class. 2409 Yonge St., Suite 202. 416-322-6770; fitfix.net

Belly Bootcamp: Bellies & Strollers
This intensive class boasts a program of “no fads, no gadgets and no nonsense.” Professional personal trainers – all of them pre- and postnatal specialists and mothers themselves – offer guidance, attention and support to rehabilitate your core, burn maximum calories and improve strength and energy, all while bringing your baby to beautiful Toronto parks (outdoor sessions run May to October, then this class moves indoors for the winter). Get hooked with a free trial class, then enroll for 10 weekly classes at one
of five locations, $195. 416-274-1020; bellybootcamp.ca

Beaches Fitness: Music & Movement
This east end favourite offers many family-centric classes, all with ample daytime scheduling, but we especially love Music & Movement to encourage little dancers – two different classes are structured for kids two to four and four to six – to get their groove on. Classes include the basics of dance, a dash of musical theory and even help with counting, literacy and math. Six weeks, $60. 862 Kingston Road. 416-690-0045; beachesfitness.ca

Zen Beginnings: Itsy Bitsy Yoga and Kids Yoga
Among its many pre- and postnatal classes, this uptown retreat is the only studio in the city to offer Itsy Bitsy Yoga – which is exactly as it sounds, and just as cute – and Kids Yoga, for kids from birth to tween-age. Baby poses aid with digestion, soothing, sleep and bonding, while tween yoga is interactive and imaginative (not to mention calming for this busy age group). The latter is such a hit that Zen Beginnings even offers yoga birthday parties for blossoming yogis. Classes start at $99 for six weeks. 697 Mt Pleasant Rd. 416-480-ZENN; zenbeginnings.com

Creative Children’s Dance Centre: 80s Babies
Head west to the Junction where this super-fun class is a chance for retro moms – you know who you are – to get moving, baby on hip, to the best ’80s tunes. Vogue like Madonna, have fun with Cyndi Lauper or moonwalk like Michael. No previous dance experience necessary! Bring your baby (recommended age is six weeks to one year), baby carrier and running shoes (leg warmers and lace gloves optional). Enjoy a free trial class, then enrol at $110 for eight weeks. 2968 Dundas Street West. 416-857-1746; 80sbabies.ca

YMCA: Tot & Me Swim
Every kid should learn to swim, so get comfy in the pool early at the YMCA’s Tot & Me Swim, offered for children up to age five. Under the watchful eye of a certified lifeguard or instructor, tots learn to blow bubbles, bob up and down, and safely enter and exit the pool. Or, dig out bathing suits for everyone and splash about at the unsupervised family swims. Yearly membership – including swimming, classes, gym access, basketball, soccer and more – is $117 per month for families (two adults and all kids under 21). Check locations. ymcagta.org

Kidnasium: Elementary Gym
Older kids ages seven to nine flip right out for Kidnasium’s gymnastics. It begins with a full cardio workout – that’s running, skipping and jumping – followed by a thorough stretch session. But the main show is where the fun really starts: a gym circuit of handstands, cartwheels, bridges, kick-overs, vaulting, somersaults and more. Expect to transport a sweaty (and tired) child home. Twelve-week session, $215. No experience required. 745 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd floor. 416-480-2608; kidnasium.ca