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Mumbai for kids: My Gym, Bandra West

Vinitha  RamchandaniWhen I stepped into My Gym, I was surprised by its size.

For an indoor gym, this is the largest, one-level exercise space for kids.

The one-hour cardio workout that I signed my son, Ammol for, is meant for seven to 13-year-olds.

Before the session, kids are asked to take off their shoes and socks.

The thick, carpeted floor has a centered circle that the kids group around with their trainer. In a group of 15 kids, My Gym provides two trainers.

The international brand offers gymnastics, music and dance sessions and exercising done with qualified trained instructors who supervise children from three to 13 years.

Exercises and routines are mixed up for kids in the one-hour time to ensure enthusiasm is constant
Exercises and routines are mixed up for kids in the one-hour time to ensure enthusiasm is constant

Parent-child workouts are available for six-and-a-half-month-old babies, too. I’ve been here before. A birthday party for a bunch of energetic seven-year-olds had the kids totally engrossed, laughing and tumbling along in a fun and guided way.

So we are here again. The Cardio Kids session starts with gentle warm ups. We loved that the rhythm that was maintained by the instructors. For an hour, kids were made to workout, interweaving an exercise with breathing breaks or stretches or dance movements. We loved that while all the exercises were strictly cardio, they were done in child-friendly fun ways, even giving the exercises fun names. (Burpees were called Pick-the-Canon.) There are different kinds of marches that the kids are made to do: marching in place, marching with different hand movements, side-step marching and the works. For 60 minutes, the rhythm is set between movement, stretches, deep breathing and high heartbeat training. When 30 minutes are up, the kids are given five minutes of free playtime, which is a good breakaway from the usual routine.

Clear instructions are spelt out at the gym
Clear instructions are spelt out at the gym

The next 30 minutes were a variation of the first. In terms of rigour and consistency of instructions it was exactly the same. The exercises were changed at intervals of five minutes. Kids didn’t have a chance to get bored or slack off. While they exercised, the instructor also kept them informed on which muscle was being strengthened. The air-conditioning was kept at optimum, but when the kids were done with their hour-long session, they were all sweaty and happy. I loved the half and full spins that the kids were made to do, as I loved the rolling out to the door at the end of the session.

My Gym does parties, camps, karate and dance sessions, and parents’ night outs. I liked the last idea of dropping the kids for a few hours and heading out for dinner or a movie.

Fact File

Where: 402, The Silver Pearl Building, 213 Waterfield Road, Bandra (W).
Best for:  Girls and boys (Six and a half months to 13 years)
How to reach: We live close by, so we reached via auto. Harbour and Western Railway trains halt at Bandra. Alight on the western side, and hail an auto to Waterfield Road.
Timings: 9 am to 8 pm
Budget: The gym offers packages for children as well as parent-child workout sessions. First session is free. Packages start from Rs 4,000 per month.
Food: No
Water: Yes
Rest Room facilities: Available
Where else to go: Joggers’ Park, snacking at Bandra Bandstand after visiting Bandra Fort or a long walk at Carter Road promenade.
Parent poll: Loved that the kids got a vigorous cardio workout. Trainers were friendly, firm and offered clear instructions. Each child’s exercise posture was corrected gently. Kids were encouraged to get the exercise right.
Rating: 
Kids’ poll: “Let’s go home soon!” (Translation: I had one hour of exercise)
Rating: 

What’s good: Good workout, great atmosphere, peers to work out with
What’s not so good: Can’t think of any unless the child detests exercise
Safety:  All equipment is child-safe. The entire gym floor is made of thick, crash mates. One instructor is present at all
times

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