Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Kids Filling In For Adults?

This interesting article for this week comes to us from Japan, in The Japan Times. In an article entitled, "Fitness clubs tap kids as memberships slide", they discuss fitness clubs there are offering more and more classes to pre-teens and children to fill their numbers in response to low memberships. Well, apparently, it's working, as fitness clubs are seeing these classes fill up and have waiting lists.

The classes consist mostly of activities such as dancing, swimming, gymnastics, golf, soccer -- which is especially popular right now -- baseball and karate, amongst others. The classes are very popular with kids because it gives them skills, helps them learn more about their bodies, balance, strength and so on. Parents love it because it helps keep their kids fit and gives them confidence in themselves.

It's interesting because, while adult membership numbers are slipping, these classes for kids are surging, despite high prices. Parents seem more than happy to pay for their kids to go to these classes in order to get fit, but adults themselves are joining gyms in fewer and fewer numbers. I have no idea what that means, honestly, but it's an odd and interesting trend.

So does this mean more kid-centric gyms will pop up? Does this mean that existing gyms will start turning their attention more to kids than to adults? That one is doubtful as adults are an important part to any gym's roster. What we'll likely see is an eventual balance between the kid classes and the adult classes, where everyone can get the help they need getting fit and in shape.