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What Age Can You Start Going To The Gym In Canada?

The rise in the health and fitness industry has produced many gym enthusiasts, setting unhealthy and unrealistic expectations among many teenagers. Therefore, it’s important to ask, “What age can you start going to the gym in Canada?”

In Canada, there’s no one answer to this question. That’s because there are some gym policies and regulations in Canada implemented by either the law or gyms themselves.

However, the gym is a big playground with its own set of rules. Therefore, different gyms offer kids under 12 years of age specialized training lessons, conducted under the supervision of professional trainers.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different age policies for gyms in Canada and some significant activities as an alternative to gym workouts.

Stay with us!

What Is The Legal Age To Go To The Gym In Canada?

The legal age to go to the gym in Canada without a trainer’s guidance and adult supervision is over 18 years.

However, some gyms in Canada may allow children under 15 years of age, special physical programs to create a solid base for growth.

Age Policies For Gyms In Canada

Tim Grover, one of the most famous trainers, believes young athletes get injured because they bulk up without proper supervision. Also, they are oblivious to injury prevention and the benefits of good nutrition.

Therefore, in Canada, there are specific age restrictions for gym membership.

when can you go to the gym

Location-Specific Policies

Most gyms in Canada require parental consent to join gym membership. However, some provinces have strict health and safety measures to follow.

Similarly, many provinces do not allow minors to use gym equipment without proper supervision and expert guidance.

For example, if you are in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Labrador, you should be above 19 years old to join the gym without parental consent.

Gym Specific Policies

In Canada, there’s no specific rule or age restriction for gym access. However, some gyms have strict health and safety measures to follow. For example, many gyms do not allow minors to use gym equipment without proper supervision and expert guidance.

The common age thresholds for using gym equipment without expert supervision in Canada are as follows:

  1. Minors under 12 should not use gym equipment under supervision. However, some gyms may provide special programs for younger kids.
  2. Teenagers under 16 require a certified trainer for proper guidance and customized meal plans.
  3. Teenagers above 16 years can use the gym independently with parental consent.
  4. People over 18 years of age may sign up for gym access independently, without parental consent and supervision.

Health Specific Policies

If you have specific health conditions, many gyms would require a doctor’s clearance for equipment access.

Is Joining A Gym From A Young Age Good Or Bad For Kids?

Personal trainers and fitness experts do not recommend joining a gym at an early age (before you hit puberty). That’s because it may lead to potential injuries and unnecessary pressure to achieve a certain physique.

However, if you’re over 15 years of age, it’s good to start low-intensity workouts to develop healthy habits early. Regular exercises that are also age-appropriate also increase stamina and promote healthy bone development.

Furthermore, joining a gym at an appropriate age teaches proper technique and builds a firm physique that offers motivation and improved athletic performance.

Note: If your younger-than-15-year-old teen wants to join the gym, consider affordable alternatives, including team sports, group fitness sessions, or home workouts, specifically designed for younger teens.

gym age requirement

Can 13-Year-Olds Below Go To The Gym?

While physical training is crucial for teenagers’ growth, many expert trainers do not recommend extensive weight-lifting workouts. Doing high-intensity workouts or heavy weight lifting at 13 years of age may affect your body.

Therefore, if you have a 13-year-old at home, daily routine workouts under supervision are good for muscle growth.

Alternatively, you can enroll your kids in summer programs that allow teenagers to work out under parental consent.

Safe & Effective Workouts For Kids

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teens should get 60 minutes of daily physical activity followed by three days that include low-intensity muscle workouts.

Therefore, getting your kids into physical activity and safe workouts is essential to improve their overall strength.

Here are a few tips for introducing safe and effective workouts for kids.

minimum age to go to the gym

Make Sure There’s Supervision

Safety first!

If you have younger kids and teens, make sure they have expert supervision and guidance to build proper form and prevent potential injuries.

You should also teach your kids to listen to their bodies if they feel any discomfort or pain.

Choose Exercises You Enjoy Doing

Always choose activities your children love to keep them motivated and excited, such as dancing, swimming, cycling, playing tag, or jumping rope.

Basically, you can transform any activity that you can enjoy with a group of friends into a game. This keeps the workouts engaging and fun.

Warm Up Before And Cool Down.

Always teach your children the basics of starting a working session. For example, warming up their muscles and bodies before a proper workout.

Before and during the workout, keep your kids hydrated with water breaks to prevent dehydration and muscle soreness.

Lastly, allow them to cool down their bodies between workouts to let them recover and grow stronger.

Use Positive Language About Body Image

Don’t let your kids join the gym for the sake of peer pressure. Focus on making them feel good and emphasize the benefits of the workout.

After every workout, acknowledge the hard work and dedication of your children rather than focusing on their appearance and physical results.

Note: Create a positive and harmonious association with exercise for kids to set them on the right track for long-term benefits.

Gym Alternatives For Kids

If your kid is too passionate to join the gym before 13 years of age, let them explore the gym alternatives for kids.

Note: Never discourage your children from doing something productive. Rather, find the right alternatives.

Here are a few super energetic alternatives for the gym.

Outdoor Games

  1. Young kids enjoy being outdoors so much. Allow them to play games like tag, jump rope, hopscotch, frisbee, skateboard, ski, and toboggan.
  2. They can also explore nature walks and hikes in the park to get fresh air and scenic views, clearing their mind.
  3. Hit the trails or streets on bikes or bicycles to improve cardiovascular health.
  4. Swimming is a great way to work your cardiovascular system. It also cools down your body during hot weather. Ultimately, it builds strength and improves endurance.

Indoor Games And Activities

  1. Trampoline parks are high-energy activities for kids that offer pure entertainment and physical activity.
  2. Let your kids enjoy themselves as a group during dance classes to express themselves and get their bodies moving.

Above all, encourage your kids to participate in extracurricular activities to stay active, learn teamwork, and have fun with their classmates.

Exercise Benefits For Kids

Doing exercise from a young age benefits physical health, and promotes and nurtures the mental and gut health of your kids.

gym age limit

Easier Weight Management

Routine exercises help your kids to maintain a healthy weight and build muscles, reducing the risk of health problems and obesity.

Lower Chances Of Chronic Disease

Regular exercises support your heart and lungs, lowering blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity.

It also reduces the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Stronger Bone Development

Running, jumping, and any form of weight-bearing exercise develop strong bones and healthy muscles, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in their life.

Improved Confidence & Self-Esteem

Exercise regulates your hormones and releases endorphins that are mood-boosters and increase confidence and self-esteem among children.

Better Academic Performance

Research suggests that regular exercise improves cognitive function, memory, and concentration, translating to better academic performance in school.

Can Teenagers Between 13 To 16 Buy Gym Memberships?

No, teenagers between 13 to 16 cannot purchase gym memberships in Canada independently.

However, they can opt for family memberships to join the gym with their parents in a safe and controlled environment. Furthermore, they can also get enrolled in supervised programs designed for teenagers.

These programs typically offer qualified instructors, and age-appropriate equipment and provide complete guidance on proper physique and techniques.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Joining The Gym

Whether you’re a teenager, an adolescent, or an adult, there are some predefined things to keep in mind before joining the gym.

age limit for gym membership

Understanding Your Specific Needs

Before joining the gym, ask yourself, “Do I need to lose weight training? Build muscles? Improve cardiovascular health or just need to be more active?” Defining your fitness goals will help you choose the right workout plan that caters to your needs.

While understanding your needs, don’t forget to consider your budget. Because gyms in Canada target different age groups and classes, defining your budget will help you choose the most affordable option for you.

Take A Health Assessment

If you have specific health conditions, talk to your doctor before starting a workout plan.

Also, many gyms, including All Time Fitness, offer health assessments to assess your current activity and health conditions. This will help you and your trainer to set realistic, achievable goals for an effective exercise plan.

Take A Good Rest After A Workout

Taking rest after a workout is crucial to repair muscle tissue and rebuild strength. Professional trainers recommend scheduling days and enough rest to allow your body to heal completely.

Sleep Well

Sleep fuels your workout and improves performance. Doctors recommend 7 to 8 hours of sleep to optimize your workouts.

Diet Matters

According to the National Institutes of Health, incorporating a healthy, balanced diet into your lifestyle with exercise is more effective in achieving your fitness goal.

Make sure you’re eating a nutritious diet with portions of protein, carbs, good fats, and fiber during workouts to build muscle and maintain overall health

Consistency Is The Key

Start slowly and gradually increase frequency and pace. Aim for regular exercise and stick to your routine. The goal is to change your lifestyle with realistic goals and actionable habits that transform your fitness journey.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the right age to start gym without parental consent and supervision is over 16 years.

However, if your child is too willing to join the gym before 16 years of age, encourage and motivate them to join free training sessions provided under the supervision of experts. Also, you can persuade your kids to explore alternatives to the gym, such as jumping, skipping rope, cycling, swimming, running, dancing, etc.

Physical activity is essential for the healthy growth and development of your child. It improves cognitive learning, boosts confidence, and provides a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety. However, you should always teach your kids the basics of starting a workout or any physical activity;

  1. Always stay hydrated and drink lots of water and fluids
  2. Never forget to warm up before diving straight into the workout
  3. Eat healthy meals and snacks at least 40 minutes before starting the workout

All in all, hitting the gym at an appropriate age when your body needs it does wonders for your mental and physical well-being.


Can My 12-Year-Old Go To The Gym?

Dr. Alfred Atanda states, “Anyone can start cardio at any age.”

However, doctors do not recommend 12-year-olds to join the gym and start high-intensity workouts.

Can A 13-Year-Old Lift Weights?

13 13-year-old can start lifting basic weights, such as barbell lifts, under the supervision of a certified trainer or coach. They can also practice push-ups, pull-ups, and bodyweight squats.

Do Teenagers Need A Special Workout Plan?

Yes, teenagers need a special workout plan based on their fitness goals, activity levels, and other factors, including health conditions.

A certified trainer or coach prepares a customized workout and meal plan to develop movement skills, muscles, and bones in your teens.

Can Beginners Benefit From Hiring A Personal Trainer?

Professional fitness experts recommend hiring a personal trainer for beginners to prevent potential injuries, seeking guidance, and sticking to a workout and diet plan that caters to their individual needs.

Can A 13-Year-Old Use A Treadmill?

Typically, a 13-year-old can use a treadmill under an adult’s supervision, but it depends on many factors, including the maturity of your child and your awareness of how to use the equipment.

If you’re still unsure of letting your 13-year-old use a treadmill, here are a few alternatives to a treadmill, including running, biking, brisk walking, playing sports, and simple home workouts.