Fitness For The Family
Justin Turner goes to Zone Health and Fitness almost every night. You might call him somewhat of a fitness fanatic, but actually, it’s his 5-year-old son, Collin, who asks to go on many occasions.
“I go to the gym sometimes just because he wants to see the friends he’s made in child care,” Justin says. “I’ve learned to use more of the gym equipment because I’m going so often I needed more to keep me busy while he’s playing!”
Justin and his wife, Lindsey, have two boys, Collin and 2-year-old Dawson, and they often use their gym time to catch up with each other.
“Lindsey stays at home with the kids all day right now,” Justin explains. “I’ll take the kids to the gym in the evening to give her a break, but we often go together, and we’ll walk on the treadmills so we can talk and catch up on our day without the distraction of the kids. It’s really hard to find time to talk at home with two active boys always wanting our attention.”
When it came to choosing a gym, child care was definitely a deciding factor for the Turners.
“We like that it’s a classroom setting,” says Lindsey. “It’s clean, organized and structured. We like that they have activities, not just free play. The boys know that each time they go there will be a new activity and not a repeat of what they did the day before. They really look forward to that.”
The Zone’s child care center, dubbed the Blast Zone, serves children ages 6 months to 11 years and is open seven days a week. The center features two areas, one for infants and one for older children, plus plenty of tables, chairs and a fun play structure. But according to the Turners, the best thing is the mirrored tint on the windows. Parents can observe their children from the gym floor, but the kids cannot see out.
“We can watch them having fun and know they’re OK, but they can’t see us,” says Justin. “When we first started taking Collin, he would cry when we left him, so it was nice that we could see in and know that he was doing all right. Now, he cries when we go to pick him up!”
Having staff that understands parents’ needs is a big plus for the Turners.
“They genuinely care about our children,” Lindsey says. “Younger kids can have a hard time separating, but the staff really knows how to make that easier on the parents. They open their arms to our kids, rather than just opening a gate.”
Led by Director Danielle Lucas, the child care staff follows a monthly activity schedule that includes age-appropriate dance and body movement, creativity workshops, character building, arts and crafts, story time, homework help, games and even Spanish lessons.
“We see child care as the children’s wellness Zone, not just a babysitting service,” says Danielle. “We want Zone children to learn how to live healthy, active lifestyles just like their parents. In fact, for each person who joins in November, Zone Health & Fitness will donate $10 to the Marion County Boys & Girls Club.”
Zone Health & Fitness
Located in the Pine Plaza at
524 S Pine Avenue, Ocala