Giggling children tumble into pits filled with foam cubes, bounce on trampolines, swing on ropes, or roll around mats shape like doughnuts and cheese wedges. Across the room, older kids twirl, flip, and pace on Olympic-grade bars and balance beams. When designing Cartwheels Inc., founders Katherine Campbell and Lisa Lacamell wanted to provide a space for serious gymnastics and cheerleading training as well as a place for children to have fun. They employed expertise from a lifetime of gymnastics training, and roles as the national course conductor for Gymnastics Canada and board director for Gymnastics BC, respectively. They hold their staff––many of whom come from yoga, dance, and fitness backgrounds––to high standards: each holds at least a level-one NCCP certification, child-safety-focused Respect in Sport certification, and first-aid certification.Cartwheels Inc's instructors coach children as young as 18 months in classes taught to the standards of the National Coaching Certification Program, giving them stylish ways to climb into bunk beds. Beyond tumbling and gymnastics classes, girls also combine gymnastics, dance, and stunting formations to hone cheerleading skills in recreational and competitive all-star cheerleading programs. In the summer, gym staffers lead day camps that combine gymnastics and arts-and-crafts instruction with off-site field trips, allowing children to visit water parks or meet the man who invented water. Recognizing that their gym spaces can also serve as a playground, Katherine and Lisa also organize birthday parties and kids'-night-out events to host hours of unstructured play.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fit-seekers challenge themselves on Nautilus cardio and strength machines and hoist free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’ staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or bop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Heated air seeps into students’ pores as they enter Bikram Yoga Burnaby’s two heated practice rooms, preparing muscles for workouts filled with deep, therapeutic stretches. Mindful of new and old faces alike, the instructors begin to demonstrate the 26 Hatha poses meant to promote health, longevity, and a youthful appearance. Each beginner-friendly pose builds upon the next, summoning cleansing beads of sweat as students flex and bend atop antimicrobial flooring and near wall-length mirrors. Focused breathing exercises help students expel stress with each exhalation, clearing minds of fog and worry.
Before and after classes, students may explore the 11,000-square-foot facility’s other amenities, which range from child care and towel service to showers and a juice bar. Fresh flowers add a hint of nature to the clean, modern lines of marble countertops and lounge tables, where students gather to socialize before heading to the nearby SkyTrain or a flying monkey parked in the studio’s free lot.
Rory and Sara Kerrigan both have backgrounds in competitive gymnastics—Sara even represented Canada at the 1991 World Championships. Today, the two have a 3-year-old son and are focused on helping kids like him develop mentally and physically through the sport. Within Kerrigan Gymnastics Academy's 10,000-square-foot facility, their staff aims to foster a lasting love for physical activity through age-appropriate classes. For the youngest students, classes focus on developing confidence and coordination while older kids learn to tumble, vault, and fly across the uneven bars. Parents are always welcome to observe in the spectator area, complete with a TV and WiFi access that lets them connect to work or hack the International Space Station while their kids are in class. :m]]