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Family fitness

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I've been paying attention to our family patterns over the past two weeks or so and I am not liking what I see.

My boys are 6 and then almost 5, almost 3, and just 1. What kind of fitness activities do we do together?

Well, 1-2 times per week, my husband and the two older boys go to Kung Fu for an hour. It's a real workout for him and moderately active for them.

My husband and I take walks together in some evenings. (there's another adult living in the house, don't worry) Nearly every evening this week but more like 1-2 times per week in the past few months.

The kids bike out front maybe once every two weeks? And face it, that's activity for them -- I just stroll alongside the slowest one with the baby on my back. No sweat.

And that's really the crux of it. Taking a family walk is not exercise for me -- or even most of the others -- as we are stuck with the slowest paced among us. Who frequently stops to look at bugs. Family bike ride? Hah! And that's assuming I even owned a bike. Sometimes I take the bigger guys out to trail with their bikes and I jog up and down within a 20 yard radius of the toddler, but haven't done that in months. In the summer time, my husband joins a pickup frisbee game once a week and we come along and throw our own frisbees or balls around in the adjoining field, but honestly -- no matter how much I want to e chasing the ball with my big guy, my little guys end up tugging on my legs to do a gentle game of catch with them.

Last night I got home from work around 9:30 PM. It's an aberration, thank Gd, with my new job. I needed to prepare lunches and dinner for the next day and because of the deal we were working on I couldn't be more than 10 minutes away from my computer. So I threw some veggies and meat to simmer on the stove, sent some emails, cleaned out their lunch boxes from the day before, checked my email again, and around 10 PM opened a window with a 15 minute workout from SP. Five minutes in, just as I was starting to sweat, I heard a little cry and then some tiny footsteps. I looked up to see my baby standing in the doorway watching me. I kept doing what I was doing, but when he dashed between my legs crying piteously to be nursed I gave up. Turned off the video at 5 minutes 35 seconds and sat down to feed him in front of the computer.

So I've been thinking. My kids are usually up and chipper at 6 AM. Maybe if I started doing short video workouts in the morning they might join me. That way at least I get some exercise... But there's got to be a better way to involve the family in fitness than having them do an exercise video alongside me -- right?

Does anyone have tips for being active together with multiple preschool age children?
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