Health and fitness are two key parts of a modern lifestyle, and yet it's all too easy to fall into a routine of quick and cheap dinners at family meal times. Lest we forget that quality time can be enjoyed through physical activity, the refurbished Harborne Fitness and Leisure Centre has a variety of activities for all.
The newly-refurbished gym now operates on two floors; the pools are on the ground floor, and the gym and classes on the first floor. The main gym is a large and spacious room which features floor to ceiling windows, treadmills, bikes, weights and machine area, and plenty of mat space which comes with exercise and medicine balls.
Unsurprisingly, the gym can get busy after 4pm, but every time I've been, I've never had to wait to use a machine, or treadmill because it was in use. If you want peace and quiet when you work out, or like it a little less-crowded visit before 2pm, or after 8pm.
Personal trainers are on hand to give you advice about each machine. They're also available for one on one workouts, to help you achieve your goal. After all summer is coming, and a beach, if not a healthier, body is desirable for most.
Sometimes it's not the grown ups that need motivation to work out though, it's our nieces, nephews, children: the little ones. Harborne Fitness and Leisure Centre have got that covered. They have a Kids' Gym is possibly my favourite part - it can be a struggle to get your little ones to exercise, but the leisure centre makes it fun.
The room features an interactive dance mat with dance routines designed specifically for kids, and 'Playstation bikes', where the rider can 'play' a game as they ride, making it a fun experience.
The kids-only area makes your reluctant daughter/son feel a bit more in control of their health and fitness, which is what the Kids' Gym is about - empowering kids, and making them realise working out can be enjoyable.
You can also hire out the Kids' Gym for parties, where a personal trainer will lead the class through a series of fun, easy workouts.
Contact the leisure centre for details, but weekends are their busiest times, however, even an hour of exercise (whilst under adult supervision) will do them good. Book in and your children will soon be excited to go to the gym, and leading by example.
All of the classes - take place in the spacious fitness room which is equipped with weights. There is also a mirror covering the entire front wall, so you can watch yourself sweat. Now that's inspiring.
As earlier mentioned, the pools are on the ground floor, and you can find the Learner pool - 0.8m deep - at the front of the centre and there are steps so you can walk in. Even the smallest six year old can stand up in this pool. The pool can be booked out for children's parties, so they can exercise while they're having fun. Win.
The main pool - 1.0m, 1.5-2.0m deep - is a longer pool with seating around the edges for parents to watch their kids as they splash around. Only school children in years 5 and 6 are allowed in this pool.
The pool is busiest at the weekend, which is understandable, and it's monitored by staff through a band system, so plan your trip, and call ahead to make sure you're not disappointed.