Friday, February 20, 2009

Make Family Time Fitness Time

One of our family's favorite weekly activities is gathering to watch The Biggest Loser. Each season we have cheered at our favorite contestants' triumphs, and cried at their lack of success. I think it helps the kids understand that fitness is a commitment each of us must make, and take it seriously. We have followed the show on NBC and in reruns on other networks. Even though we know who's going to be eliminated, we still find the reruns just as inspiring as the new shows. In our time zone, TBL airs from 7 to 9 pm. Usually, I like to have the kids in bed around 8:30, but on Tuesday nights, we make an exception. For the first hour, we exercise during the commercials. Our son loves to do pushups on the medicine ball, rolling it back and forth between hands. Our daughter has her own version of pushups. Not quite the same, but she's only six. I think that at this stage, it's more important for her to get the idea that exercise can be fun, rather than crack down on proper form. She'll figure it out eventually. My husband and I might lift weights or use resistance bands. When the show comes back on, we finish our set. After 8, the kids know they are done exercising for the day. We like them to have the opportunity to wind down. Sometimes we'll pair up and let one team be the "trainers," while the other team follows their directions. My daughter and I might ask the boys to do stair laps or crunches, and then on the next commercial, it's the boys' turn to train us. Everyone works at their own pace, and it's fun.

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