Fitness for the Family: An Easy Way to Get Everyone to Buy into Being Fit, Healthy & Actually Happy

Posted in: Diet & Nutrition · Exercise

Susan Ohtake, CPT

When I was younger, it was much easier for me to stay in shape. I could control what I ate, I had plenty of time to exercise, and I always got enough sleep.

Then, I became a mom….

I wouldn’t trade having a complete family for anything, but kids definitely make fitness more of a challenge.

For months after my son was born, I would struggle over how to keep myself healthy.

Then I realized that the answer wasn’t keeping myself healthy—it was focusing on keeping the whole family healthy.

Your Responsibility to YOU

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean that it’s okay to ignore your own needs


Think about when you get on an airplane and they take you through the emergency instructions. They tell you if you are seated next to a person who needs assistance putting on their own mask, you should put your mask on first before you help them.

Why? It may seem like selfishness—a “me first” attitude. But that’s not it. It’s because you have to be healthy in order to be able to take care of other people.

This metaphor is how I think about my own health and fitness as a mother. The healthier I am, the healthier my whole household is. When I feel better, I have more energy and focus to give to my children’s and husband’s health.

Your Responsibility for Your Kids’ Health

When you’re a parent, you have a responsibility to your children to live a healthy lifestyle. The habits they develop when they are young will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Make sure they develop good ones!

Kids, like all of us, need to move and exercise. They need to learn to eat healthy, nutritious foods. When they see you living a healthy lifestyle, they will follow your lead.

Being a role model is your most important job. So, what will it do to your kids if they see you ignoring your own fitness?

Total Family Fitness

The family that gets fit together stays together. The more activities you can do with your kids, the better your chances that they will learn to live a healthy lifestyle. Being a role model is so important, but so is including them in your fitness lifestyle.

By bringing them with you on your fitness journey, you can teach them by example.

Here are some great ideas for you to share your full-body fitness goals with your children...

Exercise as a Family

Teach your kids about the benefits of working out by working out with them.

Find exercises that get their—and your—heart pumping. You’ll see the fat fall off and, at the same time, teach your children lasting life lessons. Show them that fitness can be fun! They’ll feel better about themselves, while you’ll feel better about yourself and your parenting.

And the great thing about kids is that they are perfectly suited for the type of targeted, high-intensity workouts we recommend. Their short attention span and their enormous energy make short, INTENSE workouts ideal.

With a high-energy, enthusiastic approach to fitness and weight loss, you can improve your whole family’s quality of life!

Cook Healthy Meals Together

If you want to lose the fat and get fit, exercise just isn’t enough. You need to eat foods that are healthy, wholesome, and highly nutritious. Of course, that’s also what’s best for your kids. So, teach them now how to feed themselves right. It’s a skill they will take with them into the rest of their lives.

Take them with you to choose your groceries and tell them why you pick the healthy foods you buy. Bring them into the kitchen and show them how to prepare these foods in a delicious and nutritious way. Teach them to love a healthy lifestyle!

You can have a lot of fun with it. Kids love cooking because it gives them a chance to be hands-on. Let them stir, measure, and knead and they’ll get a great feeling of accomplishment.

Besides, teaching your kids about the importance of healthy eating will remind you of how important it is to YOU as well. And, if they’re eating healthy, you are going to eat healthy too. You all have a better chance of success if you’re making positive changes together.

Talk to Your Kids about Fitness

The most important thing is to show your kids that a balanced approach to fitness is a lifestyle, not a fad. You want the whole family to look at eating well and exercising as a permanent part of your family life.

Doing exercise with your kids will make it more fun for everyone. By combining bonding time and fitness time, you can make the most of your time together.

Kids love to play and are full of wonderful energy. If you do your workouts together, some of that energy will rub off on you!

The fat will fall off and, meanwhile, you’ll be making great memories.

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