It’s been a while since I had gym membership; busy family life doesn’t exactly leave you with lots of spare leisure time, does it?
If you’re struggling to find time exercise, it could be that family membership of a leisure club is the way forward. If there’s plenty for everyone to do, it becomes less of a chore and more something you can all look forward to. You can all visit together, separating for age-appropriate sessions, enjoying some active family time, or doing a bit of both.
I’d been considering this approach for a while when David Lloyd invited us to review a six month family membership of our local club and so I leapt at the chance.
Taking a first look around the club with some fellow bloggers, my first impression was that a lot of thought has gone into making membership work for busy families.
For adults, there’s a state-of-the-art gym, hundreds of group exercise classes every week, tennis, badminton and squash courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, outdoor spa garden, steam room and sauna.
There’s also a sports shop and hair & beauty salon on-site.
There’s a huge range of classes on offer, and you can view the timetable and book online which makes the whole process really simple.
So far I’ve tried out a yoga class, a Synrgy 360 circuits class, both of which were challenging but really good fun.
The pools have been the biggest hit for us. We’ve been swimming as a family two or three times each week, which is fantastic for letting the kids use up some excess energy before teatime, and Mark and I have been taking it in turns to watch the kids while the other does laps in the outside pool. Bliss!
The family changing rooms are spacious and practical, so they aren’t stressful like some changing rooms can be, and quite a few times we’ve emerged into the DLicious café bar ravenous and ordered our tea then and there.
The atmosphere there is relaxed and there are some good healthy and relatively affordable meal choices on the menu, as well as a good selection of kids meals.
If you want to catch up on some work without any distractions while the kids are having fun, the club has free wi-fi and dedicated adult areas.
David Lloyd has clearly realised that, in order for parents to get full benefit from the facilities on offer, there needs to be a really good offering for the kids too.
The DL Kids programme is open to children aged 3-11 and runs throughout the year. It includes a varied range of activities such as arts & crafts, sports and games.
The emphasis is on teamwork, joining in and being active, and children come away from every session with something to document their achievement. Some sessions run parallel with adult classes, making it easy to co-ordinate a family visit.
As well as the DL Kids programme, the club also has plenty of facilities for less structured play. Children have their own indoor and outdoor pools, plus there’s an outdoor kids area and soft play frame.
There’s also a creche facility for children aged 3 months to 5 years, offering a fun, stimulating environment with lots of things to play with.
During school holidays, David Lloyd run Holiday Active for children aged 5-11 years. This is similar in format to DL Kids, but with full day sessions including lunch and refreshments, so it’s a great option for working parents.
Kids can join in with activities like tennis & swimming lessons, drama sessions, team games, junk modelling and t-shirt designing.
So far, David Lloyd membership is working really well for us. We’re being more active, discovering new ways to stay healthy, and spending some fun family time together.
I’ll be bringing you regular updates over the next few months so stay tuned to see how we get on!
David Lloyd has given us membership for the purposes of these posts.