Monday, December 18, 2017

A Family Fitness Affair

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Trying to manage it all? Here’s one member’s success at creating work-life balance …

Want to make fitness a consistent part of your busy life? Get the family involved.

Take advantage of summer’s flexibility. Pump up your fitness level by invoking loved ones—life partner, kids, pets—to join you on your journey. Often, familial obligations can seem like a distraction from fitness goals. However, once involved, you may be surprised at how they help hold you accountable.

Members Alan & Jenny

Alan & Jenny, going STRONG.

The couple that works out together grows a healthy family together. Former New Yorkers Alan and Jenny discovered this after moving to New Jersey to raise their young family. Alan continued his successful banking career by commuting to the city. Jenny, a former accountant, further invested in her home life by making it her full-time job. Fitness became a challenge to maintain. But, they persisted.

Alan’s background included Latin-type dancing throughout high school and college. This commitment to dance was mostly for fun. Fitness was secondary. He and Jenny decided to investigate area Zumba classes®. At the Center, they found Zumba® and a whole lot more.

“We were surprised by how much we enjoyed a variety of Group Fitness classes at the Center. We also were not expecting such a vigorous workout from them!” Alan happily exclaims. “These classes are the real deal. We definitely feel their impact on our cardio system,” he adds.

A Banker- Zumba® Instructor

Alan and his mentor, Barbara.

It wasn’t long before Group Fitness Manager Barbara took notice of the pair, especially Alan’s rhythm and musicality. She suggested he become an instructor—and was thrilled when he took the challenge.

Jenny would assist Alan with choreography [for the Group Fitness classes] in the evenings. “She quickly took on the role of ‘co-producer’ as we developed a workout for my first routine,” shares Alan.

While getting certified, Alan led one of Barbara’s classes for a song or two. The encouragement and positive feedback propelled him forward. He earned his certification as a Group Fitness instructor from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, as well as his Zumba® license. He also earned his license to teach STRONG by Zumba®.

“I love my career in finance, but teaching fitness classes is one of the biggest highlights of my week. I love the energy exchanged. The participants appreciate the enjoyment they get during each workout,” Alan enthusiastically comments.

Meanwhile …


While Alan teaches, takes classes, and works with a personal trainer (to focus on muscle strength), Jenny and the kids have their own healthy fun at the Center. Yoga classes help Jenny find her personal balance in a very full life. She also enjoys a variety of other classes, including Alan’s latest, STRONG by Zumba®.

Childcare and swim lessons.

“Jenny is a very hard worker. I deeply appreciate the full-time job she has as a mom,” Alan mentions when talking about the path their life has taken. Jenny visits the Center six or seven days a week, which surpasses Alan’s typical five.

How do they manage the time? Often, their children, ages four and two years, hold them accountable!

“It’s a family affair,” Alan exclaims. “The kids are anxious to go. They love their time in Childcare. Our two-year-old had to get comfortable at first, but now she walks in like she owns the place.” Both children also enjoy the Center’s Aquatic offerings like semi-private swim lessons and toddler classes.

Make It Work for You

Not everyone can make fitness into a second career: banker by day; fitness dancer by night. With encouragement and support from Barbara, his mentor and first Center instructor, Alan made it happen. Follow his lead. Here’s the takeaway:

  • Work out with family and friends, from grandparents to kids. Can’t get them off the couch? Make new workout buddies at the Center. That should motivate those couch potatoes and simultaneously keep you accountable.
  • Try new fitness classes and equipment. There is something for every age and skill level. Keep workouts varied.
  • Spend each visit enjoying a different aspect of the Center—the pool, seminars, Pilates studio, Group Fitness, Fitness Floor, sauna. Alan and his family work the rooms!
  • Go for variety!

    Try lots of demos! Your newest fitness craze is only a demo away.

  • Take advantage of the Childcare Center, kids’ programs and events, and family swim offerings.
  • Enjoy physical activities together beyond the Center. Make fitness the theme of your summer.
  • Bring the family. And remember: Family can be anyone we lovingly embrace.

“Joining the Center, becoming an instructor, investing in the future health of our family has had an extremely positive effect on our lives,” states Alan.

Be inspired to create your own family fitness affair.

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