Merritt Clubs Blog


Kids Fitness: Study Encourages Exercise Instead of Dieting for Girls

Posted by Sterling McKinley

Oct 15, 2015

If you are concerned about kids fitness, you may want to take a closer look at a recent study that suggests a link between dieting at an early age and later health issues for girls. Researchers suggest intervening as early as elementary school, and exercise is an essential part of the program.

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Topics: exercise, exercise diet, kids fitness, kids

Study Says Pizza is a Major Obstacle to Kids Fitness

Posted by Sterling McKinley

Oct 13, 2015

A new study on kids fitness found that almost one in four teens eat pizza on an average day adding an extra 230 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat and 484 mg of sodium to their diet. See what experts recommend for helping kids to lighten up on pizza.

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Topics: kids obesity, kids fitness, kids

Kids Need Fitness Too: Merritt Clubs Provides Some Helpful Tips

Posted by Sterling McKinley

Oct 13, 2015

Create a family tradition, and encourage your kids to exercise!  The American Heart Association recommends all children ages two and older should participate in at least 30 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day.

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Topics: kids fitness, kids classes, kids

Kids Fitness: Study says Elementary School Kids are Unhappy with their Bodies

Posted by RaySa

Sep 29, 2014

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Topics: Merritt blog, diet, family fitness, best diets, Fitness Tips, best kids fitness, balanced diet, kids fitness, Baltimore fitness, best gyms, gym membership

Kids Fitness: How Busy Parents Can Find Family Time at Health Clubs

Posted by RaySa

Jan 23, 2014

Family time and kids fitness are two major concerns for modern parents. A new study confirms that Americans are spending barely eight hours a week with their children. A health club membership may be just what you need to reverse the trend and get everyone in shape.

If you feel like you barely see your kids during the week, you’re not alone. The study conducted by Virgin Holidays and Universal Orlando Resort discovered that the daily average is just 36 minutes for the time families spend together. Weekends are a little better with over 2 hours of family time each day, but many people say they mostly count on holidays to reconnect.

Going to the gym as a family is a great way to meet up more often and boost your fitness. There are several ways to get around the most common obstacles:

Meals: Eating quickly doesn’t have to mean fast food. Prepare dishes you can cook ahead of time on weekends and freeze the leftovers. Chili and lasagna are two old favorites. Pack a cooler full of cut vegetables, pita bread and hummus, and stick it in your car for healthy dining on the go. Turn a salad into a balanced meal with leftover fish or chicken.

Homework: Kids usually need a break between school and homework. Hit the gym on the way home from work and school. If you need to schedule visits for later in the evening, present your health club visits as a reward for completing their studies.

Bed Times: Of course, rest is essential too. After your workout, arrange quiet time before retiring. Read books or take a warm bath. Shut off TVs, phones and other devices.

Merritt Athletic Club is committed to keeping Baltimore families healthy. Check out our pool, gymnastics, dance and other programs for kids. Contact us to learn more.

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, kids obesity, best fitness programs for kids, Merritt blog, baltimore gyms, kid fit, Fitness Tips, family health clubs, kids party ideas, gyms, kids fitness, Baltimore fitness, nutrition, best gyms

Need a Unique Gift for a Child? How About a Gift Certificate to a Fitness Club?

Posted by RaySa

Dec 13, 2013

The holidays are coming up and you're probably looking over your list, trying to figure out a gift for each person that will be appreciated and unique. While many adults enjoy going to the gym, a gift certificate to one is a touchy subject. Some might appreciate it, while others will take offense. Kids however, are another story. A gift certificate to a fitness club that has classes and activities just for them would not only be better than a toy that loses appeal, it would provide fun and promote a healthy lifestyle for a child in your life.

Kids Classes at Merritt Athletic Clubs

If you're in the Maryland area, Merritt Athletic Clubs caters to families. They provide special classes for children year-round, and even have camps and activities when children are on vacation from school. Some of the classes children can choose from include:

If you've got a video game lover on your list, XRKade is a special fitness class that challenges kids using the latest video game technology. Kids get fit using Dance, Dance, Revolution, a virtual cycle, a snowboarding program, and other active video games that motivate children who love to live in an electronic world.

Families who enjoys having fun and getting fit together can do it at Merritt Athletic clubs. Kids love to swim, and when families come to one of our pools, they will have a blast while being active.

If you've got a child on your gift list, consider giving them a gift certificate to Merritt Athletic Clubs. They will, without a doubt, enjoy it more than any toy you could give them.

For more information on locations and programs, contact us.

Just a Hint... Honey Holiday wish list!

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, Personal Training, Merritt blog, holiday wish list, healthy lifestyle, Fitness Tips, best holiday presents, unique gift ideas, xmas gift ideas, best gyms in baltimore, best holiday gifts, gyms, kids fitness, nutrition

Baltimore's Best Gym and Fitness Club Offers Summer Camps for Kids

Posted by RaySa

Jun 27, 2013

As the summer begins, parents may be looking for opportunities to add some structured fun into the long days of summer. Baltimore's best gym and fitness club is available to help out with that, offering summer camps in a variety of locations to provide opportunities for kids to have fun, be active, and learn.

Kids Camps in Eldersburg

Eldersburg offers a variety of camps for children of many ages. Water lovers can participate in the easy-going Splash and Swim camp, the more focused Michael Phelps swim school, or a junior lifeguard camp. View Eldersburg Camp brochure here. Other offerings include camps focused on:

  • Sports
  • Karate
  • Dance
  • American Girls
  • Fairy Tales
  • Musical Theater
  • Video Gaming
  • Art
  • Pirate Island
  • Theme Days


Younger children are not excluded at Eldersburg with special camps just for preschool-aged children, including Wee Sports, Superheroes, and theme camps such as "Dynamic Dinosaur Camp," "Around the Campfire," or "Kids in the Kitchen."

Towson Camps and New Outdoor Pool Complex

Towson offers a brand new pool complex for its members, which includes a baby pool, a large pool with two 18 foot water slides, and a sports field. Towson also offers summer camps for kids, including Junior lifeguarding, the Michael Phelp's swim camp, sports, and American doll camps. View Towson Camps brochure here. They also offer a Princess dance camp for the youngest dancers, and a Walk the Runway Camp for young aspiring fashion designers.

Canton Camps

The Canton location offers many of the same camps as Towson and Eldersburg. Swim camps, sports camps, dance camps, and American girls are some choices. Their unique camps include a Pop Star Dance camp, and an Ultimate Fun camp where kids will go on scavenger hunts, conquer obstacle courses, and play games. View Canton Camps brochure here.

Dance Camps at the Cranbrook Location

If you've got a dancer in the house, and the Cranbrook location is convenient for you, they are offering the Mini Dancing Princess Camp for children ages 3-5, and the Pop Star Dancing Camp for ages 5 and up.

Merritt Athletic Clubs has got you covered for summer activities! Children will not only learn a lot at these camps, they will have lots of fun and want to come back for more. Check our brochure for exact dates, times, and prices for all of these camps and contact us if you have any questions.

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, full day camps, Merritt blog, baltimore camps, Fitness Tips, half day camps, day camps, Aquatics, kids fitness, summer camps

Kids Fitness: Regular Exercise for Youths May Lower Risk of Old Age Fractures

Posted by RaySa

Jun 12, 2013

A recent study found that kids fitness programs may reduce their risk for suffering fractures when they reach old age. It’s another powerful argument for regular physical exercise for youths.

Researchers from the American Orthopaedic Society found that boys and girls who got 40 minutes a day of physical education at school increased their spine bone mineral density and had almost 50% fewer fractures compared to kids who spent only 60 minutes a week in gym class. An accompanying study of men with an average age of 69 found that former athletes lost only minimal bone mass compared to their more sedentary peers.

It’s long been known that the years before we reach 20 are critical for bone development. The National Institutes of Health estimates that girls acquire 90 percent of their peak bone mass by the age of 18 and boys by 20.

Any weight-bearing exercise will help build bone density. If your kids participate in organized sports like soccer or basketball, they’re getting off to a good start. There are also plenty of individual activities that some children may prefer like dancing or skiing or just taking long walks. In addition to regular exercise, there are a few more ways you can help your kids build up more bone mass to see them through their later years. Give them several servings a day of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Good choices are dairy products, tofu and vitamin-enriched breakfast cereals. Keep in mind that tobacco weakens bones along with all its other dangers. Limiting soft drinks is also a good idea.

Merritt Athletic Clubs is the most complete fitness organization in Maryland and a leader in kids fitness programs like our popular Zumba Kids classes and a Junior Fitness Certification for children between the ages of 12-15. Contact us to learn more or join online.

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Topics: kids obesity, exercise programs, baltimore summer camps, Fitness Tips, half day camps, day camps, summer programs for kids, kids fitness, summer camps

Karate Classes for Kids and Adults Make a Healthy Lifestyle Fun and Challenging

Posted by RaySa

Jun 12, 2013

We constantly hear studies that show that kids and adults both need to be active to have a healthy lifestyle. But for many people, that means running on a treadmill for a few weeks until it gets boring, or nagging kids to turn off the video games and go outside to play. Adults and kids should consider karate lessons as a way to start a healthy lifestyle, and obtain other benefits as well.

Health Benefits of Karate

Most karate classes start off with a warm-up that includes stretching, jumping jacks, push-ups, and other activities that will get your body moving and burning calories. Then karate itself will work all muscle groups, including your core which is essential to optimal health. Karate is also a cardio workout, and those that participate usually find increased flexibility, strength, and stamina.

Karate Teaches Self-Discipline, Self-Defense, and Confidence

Kids and adults alike struggle with confidence issues. Karate is a great boost in this area as you master different skills and work to earn new belts. It also helps participants in the area of self-discipline. Karate trains students to focus and concentrate, and these skills often translate to life outside of the dojo. Lastly, karate teaches self-defense. While the classes do not encourage aggressive actions, it is a side benefit that students will be able to defend themselves if they need to in an aggressive world.

Karate Classes for Adults and Children

Karate is one of the rare fitness classes that are taught for adults and kids. This is a great activity that families can learn together and practice skills at home, carrying fitness outside of the gym into everyday life. It's a simple way for families to spend time together and get healthy in a fun, enjoyable way.

If you live in Maryland, karate classes are offered for children and adults at Merritt Athletic Clubs in Buckingham, Canton, Eldersburg, and Towson. For information on additional ways to have a healthy lifestyle for the whole family, contact us. Also, check out our summer camps here!

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Topics: karate camps, Merritt Athletics, family fun, lifestyle changes, Merritt blog, karate classes, Fitness Tips, how to get healthy, how to get in shape, kids fitness, summer camps, Baltimore fitness, nutrition, best gyms

Special Classes Make Kids' Fitness Fun and Healthy

Posted by RaySa

Jun 11, 2013

It seems that most of the adults in this world have been trained to dread exercise. Somewhere along the way we developed the idea that it is a necessary evil, and we tolerate it at times, but it is not something to enjoy. Don't you want to change that mindset in your children? Get your children involved in some fun like summer camps or kids fitness classes that they will look forward to going to. Merritt Athletic Clubs offer many choices that kids will love.

XRKade Video Gaming Fitness

Have a gamer in the family? XRKade is a new video arcade focused on active games to get the user's heart pumping. Dancing, snowboarding, and bicycling are just a few of the games kids can participate in to get healthy while having fun.

Karate Classes

This non-traditional exercise class will train the mind and body as kids gain physical strength and mental focus. Both boys and girls enjoy learning karate, and classes are available for adults who want to try it too. Learn more here.

Dance and Gymnastics Classes

For kids who like to move, dance and gymnastics provides a great exercise routine, but the kids will only remember the fun. Gymnastics classes start for children as young as 18 months and dance for those 2.5 years and older. Zumba classes are also available for kids who like to dance but want to take a "grown up" class like Mom.

Wee Sports

Remember playing games on the playground like "Tag" and "Red Light, Green Light?" You probably didn't even realize you were exercising while having so much fun. Kids 3-5-years-old can play these classic games and start their fitness routine on a fun note.


Swimming is a great workout and lessons are available for all ages, even adults. Do your kids resist traditional lessons? Simply hop in and play some fun water games to build endurance and burn calories.

Recently there has been a focus on encouraging children to live healthy, active lifestyles. Fitness Centers across the country are starting to provide opportunities for children to come in and take classes that are fun and interesting. If you live in Maryland and have a Merritt Athletic Club near you, check out some of these great opportunities for kids to get healthy. For more information on classes and schedules, contact us.

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Topics: merritt dance, Personal Training, merritt aquatics, Merritt blog, karate in baltimore, kid fit, merritt gymnastics, Fitness Tips, best gyms in baltimore, Aquatics, summer programs for kids, kids fitness, summer camps, group fitness, merritt clubs