Every day we’re bombarded with messages telling us that diet and fitness are the keys to a happier, healthier life. The conventional way of getting moving is to take up solitary runs or else join a gym, but for many of us, especially if we have families with kids, the gym presents its own set of problems. Let’s check out why we need an alternative to the gym before looking at the solution that parents in Surrey and SW London are choosing as their favourite alternative.

Problems with conventional gym and fitness activities

1. It takes up valuable family time

Time? Who has time these days? We rush to work and arrive home just in time for dinner. That gives us an opportunity to connect with our spouses or children – the only time we have to do so. Join a gym and you have to deduct an hour or more from the precious time you would otherwise spend with your kids.

2. It’s not much fun

While you’re gasping for breath on the treadmill or trying as hard as you can to add just one more rep to your strength training exercises, there’s only one thought on your mind: “Please let this end!” and of course, it feels really good when you stop. So does banging your head against a wall! Could there be a way to get fit and actually have fun in the process?

3. It’s a solitary activity

Even if you join a class, there’s not much connection between you and your gym mates. Perhaps you exchange a word in the cloakroom, or say ‘Hi’ in passing, but the gym is hardly what you’d call a sociable activity. Everyone’s in their own world of self-inflicted (and no doubt healthy) pain, and you actually resent anyone who tries to talk to you mid-workout – if anyone dares – everyone knows that’s bad gym etiquette!

4. Cardio is soooo boring!

That’s why they usually put a TV screen in front of the cardio area at gyms. Seriously, thirty minutes of cardio is a penance, and you didn’t even do anything wrong! Whether you’re pounding away at the treadmill, gasping your way through X amount of minutes on the Stairmaster or striding along on an orbital trainer, you’re only waiting for one thing – the time when you can get off the tool of torture and mop your brow with your sweat towel. Job done! They don’t call it a ‘workout’ for nothing!

In a nutshell, workouts aren’t usually much fun. You won’t hear anyone bursting into peals of laughter, the kids are probably in the designated kiddie area if you brought them along, and everyone’s sweating away in deadly earnest. Could there be a better way?

What if you could just play and have fun?

Think back to the time when you were a kid. Apart from the dreaded PE classes, you used to run, jump, play ball and have fun with your friends. Why don’t we do that anymore? Maybe it’s a shortage of playmates – it would be highly unusual for your colleague in cubicle 5 to invite you to kick a ball around the park or play tag at lunchtime, wouldn’t it? But that’s how you kept fit when you were a kid. You played. You laughed. And it was all so much fun, even though you were pouring with sweat and gasping for breath.

Now a cool new concept from WhizzFit is allowing adults and kids to explore fitness through play. When last did you play dodgeball? Soft foam balls ensure that you won’t go home covered in bruises, and you can join a weekly class with the whole family in tow. Everyone gets to have fun! Run, jump and play. Let off steam with your loved ones. And ask yourself: why didn’t anyone think of something like this before?