Author Archives: Big Vanilla Athletic Club

Water Safety Night at Big Vanilla

Swimming pool safety is important all year round, but as we approach the warmer months it becomes critical that you revisit all of the things you can do to ensure a safe summer. Give yourself some peace of mind and give your children the skills they need to be safe in the water at Big Vanilla Athletic Club. We’re hosting a Water Safety Night on Friday, June 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at our Pasadena location. Learn important water safety techniques from the experts so you can feel confident while swimming this summer. Pre-registration is required, so sign up online or at the front desk at Big Vanilla today!

Water Safety Tips

In preparation for our Water Safety Night, here are a few tips to help keep you and your children safe when swimming this summer:

  • A responsible adult should always be present when children are swimming. No matter how good a child is at swimming, nobody is drown-proof.
  • If your child is new to swimming or a weak swimmer, use a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, not inflatable swimmies. But keep in mind you should never use a floatation device as a substitute for supervision.
  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible. Big Vanilla offers swim lessons in Arnold and Pasadena for children and adults of all ages and abilities, so you can improve your skills or learn to swim for the first time. If you are a non-swimmer, invest in lessons for yourself.
  • Please remember the arm’s length rule. For infants, toddlers, and any swimmer who has not passed the Big Vanilla swim test, a parent should be within an arm’s length at all times, closely supervising them without distractions. This is a great rule to follow at any pool you visit.
  • In the pools at Big Vanilla, children under 13 years of age and without a Big V Swimmer yellow wristband are not allowed in water above chest-deep or in the slide area (Pasadena).
  • Children have to be at least 3 years of age and toilet trained to swim in the lap and leisure pools (Pasadena).
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so you can assist in a pool emergency.
  • Become CPR-certified so you can perform CPR on children and adults. Also make sure you update those skills regularly.
  • Remember you are your child’s lifeguard and you are never off duty. Never assume someone else is watching your child when in a pool area.

Learn More About Water Safety at Big Vanilla

Want to learn more about water safety? Come to our free Water Safety Night at Big Vanilla in Pasadena on Friday, June 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is open to the community and families are welcome to attend. The evening will feature instructor-led water safety lessons including:

  • Aquatic area awareness
  • Emergency recognition and response
  • Pool rules
  • Self-rescue
  • Non-swimming assists

The Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Department of Natural Resources will also be on-hand with demonstrations and to answer questions.

Both members and non-member are welcome to attend; however, pre-registration is required by June 12, 2012. Register online at or at the front desk. For more information, please call 410-437-4242. Also make sure to follow Big Vanilla Athletic Club on Twitter for more swimming pool safety tips. We look forward to seeing you (and your kids) at Water Safety Night!


Celebrate the Zumbathon All Year Long With Zumba Classes

Remember when we posted a blog about our Zumbathon? Well, it happened, and it was very successful! We raised $1,000 for Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake, a great local charity. If you missed the Zumbathon, don’t worry – we’ll get you caught up on all the details! We’ll also tell you how you can try Zumba classes and see what this new fitness craze is all about!

Zumbathon 101

You might be wondering, “What is a Zumbathon?” Let’s start with a definition of Zumba. This is a form of exercise where you follow an instructor and dance to fun Latin beats. It’s an excellent full-body workout for people of all fitness levels – it’s also a great time! A Zumbathon is a long event where participants do Zumba for a good cause. We held ours on April 15th from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Our event was open to people of all ages to come and raise money for charity. Everyone had an awesome time – check out a video of the Big Vanilla Athletic Club Zumbathon to see for yourself!

An Energetic Charity Event

Our Zumbathon raised funds for Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake. This group helps girls in grades three through eight learn to live healthier lives. Since their founding in 2005, they’ve helped over 3,000 girls in the area get physically active. In addition to exercise, Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake also emphasizes community service. Their goal is to help young girls gain confidence in themselves and learn the skills to live a healthy lifestyle as they age.

Try Zumba for Yourself

You’ve probably heard of Zumba before – it’s becoming more and more popular all over the country. People love the energetic nature of the exercise and that it’s never the same from one class to the next! So if you get easily bored with exercise, Zumba classes may be perfect for you!  Zumba is also a form of group exercise, so you can do it with friends or meet new people in your class. Plus, since the classes are at set times, exercising isn’t as easy to put off! You can help yourself stay motivated (and have fun at the same time!) by taking Zumba classes.

Zumba Classes at Big Vanilla

Sounds like fun doesn’t it? It really is – come to Big Vanilla and try it out! We offer Zumba fitness classes at both of our Arnold and Pasadena, MD health clubs so you can go wherever is most convenient for you. Our current schedule has Zumba classes at different times of the day so you can get in a great workout whenever you feel the most energetic. At Big Vanilla, we do our best to make fitness fun and our Zumba classes are the perfect representation of that!

Check out our schedule for Zumba classes in Arnold and Pasadena to see what time works best for you. If you aren’t a member, sign up for a free seven-day guest pass to visit our facilities!

The Mental Benefits of Exercise

“When you increase motion in your life by exercising, you will begin to expand your mental and emotional range.” – The Health Journal

It’s common to get stuck in our daily routines – same thing, different day. What many of us don’t realize is that getting stuck in our ways can take a negative toll on our creativity and overall brain activity. One of the most effective ways of putting rest to the whirlwind of thoughts that accumulate in the left brain is vigorous exercise. That’s right – there are mental benefits of exercise in addition to the physical ones! When it comes to boosting creativity and thinking “outside the box,” it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you choose, whether it’s running, swimming, biking, or an intense walk. The important thing is to find an activity that will force you out of your comfort zone and current pattern of thinking.

Experiencing the Mental Benefits of Exercise

You may wonder, “How will I know if it’s working or not?” It will be clear to you when you experience the mental benefits of exercise. For example, if you find yourself exercising and you’re still thinking about the events of the past day, maybe everything you need to get done or something said or done to you by another person, that’s when you know to pick up the pace.

Exercise and Creativity

When you truly experience the connection between exercise and creativity, space is created in your mind. Inspiration, creativity, and new ideas begin floating to the surface. However, in order to get the mental benefits of exercise you must make working out a regular activity (at least four days a week).Trust us, it’s worth it! Bringing more creative and innovative thoughts to the table could get you much more success in life. The mental benefits of exercise can also help you stand out in the workforce and be counted on for new ideas and advice in personal relationships. Exercising can also bring more excitement to your life, leading you away from the daily “ruts.”

According to a recent health study conducted by Newsweek magazine, “Vigorous physical exercise helps your creative process by forcing you out of left brain dominant thinking. In addition, exercise improves blood flow, while increasing oxygen to the brain. Regular exercise even leads to the creation of new neurons.” Being more creative can help you in any stage of life, whether you’re a student writing English papers or an adult in the business world. When you exercise for mental health, you can improve your creativity and your fitness level!

Get the Mental Benefits of Exercise at Big Vanilla

Are you ready to experience the mental benefits of exercise for yourself? Then come to Big Vanilla! Our Arnold and Pasadena, MD health clubs have everything you need to exercise for mental health. Try our fitness equipment, swimming pools, group exercise classes, rock walls, and more. You can get fit, have fun, and boost your creativity! Get your free seven-day guest pass to try us out for yourself! In the meantime, make sure to check out Big Vanilla Athletic Club on Facebook!