Mumbai for kids: Born To Move Gym in Khar
The sprawling room with its bay windows makes you want to look out and enjoy the view. But no one is gazing out. There is music and the kids are following the steps of the instructor and doing their moves breakfast-TV-style. It is bend-kick-side-step-jump to music and the kids grin as they move to the beat.
Born to Move, a fitness studio for kids at Khar (W), is part of F2 Fitness, and is founded by Farah Vohra and Neville Almeida. The movement-based session uses age-appropriate music for children and works under the premise that children are born to move. Children — who jump, run, twirl and are constantly moving — nowadays, spend most of their time indoors with gadgets and watching movies.
The studio has created carefully tailored programmes for the growth and fitness of young children that works around choreographed exercise-to-music group fitness classes and are the experts behind some of the world’s most popular group fitness and team training programs.
The hour long session is broken into 15-minute slots. The first slot is the choreographed dance movement. I watch as nine kids turn red with the exercise movement and break into sweat. The next session is the game session where one on one teams are created and children play movement-based games. This is timed for five minutes after which teammates are swapped and strategy for the game is changed. It keeps the children moving and alert of the change in strategy.
After the game session is over it is time for Yoga. The music changes and a tweaked-out Suryanamaskar is done in power-yoga style. Fifteen minutes of yoga and assorted stretches moves to a relaxation routine. The kids beg for more movement games to be played.
All of the Born To Move classes at F2 Fitness studio in Khar are split according to five age groups: 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years, 8-12 years and 13-16 years.
The gym allows walk-ins and has devised fun tried-and-tested ways to develop self-awareness, balance, weight transfer, and concentration skills.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
The music too gears children to interpret sound, explore and move to a beat. At the exclusive test drive for Mid-Day, founder Farah, who was also the hands-on trainer for the session, said that each class at BTM were underpinned by scientific research, which shows that improved levels of fitness result in healthier, happier and smarter children.
How to get there: F2 Fitness, 5th Floor, Pinnacle House, PD Hinduja House, Khar (W).
Getting there: Head towards Linking Road. Don’t ask for PD Hinduja Road, Khar because it will lead you elsewhere. On Linking Road (if you are facing Khar) take the left off Citywalk Shoes and head ahead. This is beside Sanchos.
Timings:4-7 years – Wed: 5 pm and Sat: 4 pm, 8-12 years - Tues and Fri: 5 pm
Charges: Rs 500 (hour)
Food & Drink: Healthy snacks can be picked. Bottled mineral water available but it’s best to carry your own
What’s good: There was constant movement that took place that the kids enjoyed. After an hour no one wanted to stop.
What’s not good: There were no crash mats, even for yoga. However, the founders say that the wooden floors are specially created to absorb high-level impact.