Working Out With Kids

Doing Kenpo with the KidsWhen our kids were small, my husband and I had to take turns working out so someone could watch the kids. Now they’re 4, 8 and 11 years old. Nowadays, we could plunk then down in front of the TV while we workout, but we try to incorporate them into our exercise routines. Yes, it can be difficult to do a cardio routine with a little one running around. And correcting your child’s form during Kenpo X (from Tony Horton’s P90X) is distracting, but it really can be worth it. Why?
  • Modeling good behavior. Kids learn at home. If you workout, they are more likely to be fit. My husband and I have worked out while the older kids had playdates at our house. One neighborhood girl looked surprised, saying her parents don’t workout. “They just sit around at home,” she said. “It’s really kind of embarrassing.” We don’t work out as much as we’d like, but our kids would never be surprised by grown-ups incorporating exercise into their daily routines.
  • Spending Time Together. It’s important to carve out time to be together. Our schedules are so jam-packed nowadays that we don’t have a lot of time. But whether you’re doing Hip Hop Abs or going for a hike in the woods, it still counts as family time and exercise.
  • It gets the kids moving: There are lots of reasons, but kids are pretty sedentary these days. The kids “do sports”—my kids do jiu-jitsu and lacrosse—but they don’t really have a chance to play. Recess periods have been cut to the point that some schools don’t even offer recess and physical education anymore. Stranger danger means kids can’t run around independently the way other generations did. Plus our schedules are so packed that we don’t have a lot of time. So any time we can get our kids moving is time well spent—whether it’s playing on the Xbox Kinect or doing Hip Hop Abs. And Beachbody also offers programs especially for kids—Shaun T’s Fit Club workout, Get Real with Shaun T, and Tony and the Kids! with Tony Horton.
  • It’s fun. Our neighbors host wicked games of 4 square and kick ball in front of their house. It’s hilarious watching the parents and kids trying to beat each other. And it’s nice to walk in the woods at the end of our street or walk around our neighborhood. When we gave up the stroller with our little one, we sometimes still get a lot of “Pick me ups.” But it’s time that we get to spend together as a family.