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Kids hit the gym

January is the peak joining season for joining gyms. I’ve never done a gym workout, which is like saying that I’ve never seen a Star Wars film. Although I like eating, I have avoided weight issues, which I put it down to my genes and doing moderate weekly exercise (cycling). The bad news is that 1 in 5 children leave primary school obese. This has encouraged gym chains to offer special children's membership (aimed at parents). Do you believe that children should be hitting the gym?

Boy and dog

Measure it

The government claims that a third of children aged 2-15 are overweight or obese and in England. This stores up trouble for the NHS, as  we spent over £5bn on adult obesity related ill-health; more than we spent on the police, fire service and judicial system combined in 2014/15.

Obesity is related to income

The fat burden is falling on those children from low-income families, with the highest obesity rates for children from deprived areas. Children aged 5 and from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese when measured against better-off families.

Gym warnings

Gyms that sign up children maybe exploiting a marketing opportunity, but children risk being hung up on their physical shape. This creates further problems that need to be fixed. Feeling anxious about the way you look is part of adolescence. Children with a body dysmorphic disorder become obsessed with what they perceive to be a disfiguring physical flaw. This flaw might be either imagined or a minor flaw that is blown out of proportion.

Parent Power

Encourage children to integrate exercise into their daily routines, or getting exercise outside. Parents can take their young children to the park or go out for a bike ride and it’s far cheaper than a gym. The research shows that youngsters would rather be outside spending time with their parents. The best advice may be to encourage children to walk, cycle in short bursts or park the car 10 minutes from the school and walk with them to the school gates.

Making the exercise effort now, will leave a mark on the next generation cutting down on heart disease and diabetes. If the gym has the right appeal, then parents must ensure that their children are supervised when using the heavy equipment to remove undue pressure on growing bones.

ChildMax pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave looking after a sick child. Premiums start from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by eleven monthly payments of £3.75. Get a quote with 5 questions which takes one minute.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.


Date: 22 January 2018 by Max Robinson