Family fitness dates are replacing the old pizza and movie nights as more parents are realizing that the benefits of moving aren’t just about burning calories but setting an example for the next generation.
We talked to three fitness experts to get a feel for what family fitness looks like in their homes and also got some tips to try with your kids.
Brooke Burke-Charvet: This mother of four and former Dancing with the Stars co-host is all about sweating with her family.
“Leading by example has been the most valuable lesson for family fitness,” said Burke-Charvet, whose kids range from 9 to 17.
This family does a lot of moving together — they love hitting the track at nearby Pepperdine University. But it’s tough getting her teens to take the Booty Burn class she teaches because they think it’s too intense. Burke-Charvet is also a fan of hot yoga and spinning for herself.
“Family fitness is a big event in our household. We often take our children to the gym with us and work with the trainer who knows how to safely train children. I Soul Cycle with my husband and my teenagers,” she said. “No mother should ever have an excuse that having a child can keep you from being fit.” Her advice:
• Sign up for a family plan at the gym.
• Schedule a date with your teen to take a spinning, yoga or kickboxing class.
• Go to a local track and practice sprint intervals to build endurance.
Hilaria Baldwin: With three kids under 4, a book, The Living Clearly Method, and a busy social calendar that often includes red carpet appearances with husband Alec Baldwin, it’s rare that Hilaria Baldwin gets any time to herself, let alone to hit the gym.
She’s all about sneaking in a class or going for a long, solo run when she can, but most days she’s the queen of fitting in quickie workouts around the house while she’s playing with the kids. Her Instagram account is full of short intervals doing squats, lunges or handstands, often with a few kids in tow.
“I do these things called down moment workouts. I try to be as active with my kids as possible. Not only just for myself, but to teach them,” Baldwin said in a phone interview.
She’s also a big fan of fully immersing herself into her children’s play, and encourages moms to play hard alongside their kids and get sweaty climbing all over the jungle gym. Bonus: It might wear out your kids, too.
She also does her own workouts while they are playing. “They’ll be in the playroom, and that will give me 10 minutes to do core exercises, and they think that’s funny because I’m down on the ground and they will jump on top of me.” Her advice:
• Jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes with the kids.
• Do acro-yoga: Lay on your back and put the kids on your feet or legs. Baldwin’s kids call it flying.
• Have relay races around the house.
Erika Boom: The name of her fitness apparel brand says it all: Fit Mama. Boom loves early morning workouts and, surprisingly, her 7-year-old son loves going with her.
“He also likes to cheer me on [in CrossFit], take pics and show me how he does a particular move. When I’m done … he does some rowing, box jumps, pullups and even running.”
Boom and her husband are also serious cyclists. Sometimes their son tags along or skateboards while she rides through their Miami neighborhood.
“We are the family that prefers to ride the bike to the local farmers market instead of driving the car. We are the family that wakes up early to watch a sunrise and throw in some jogging while we are there.” Her advice:
• Go for a family bike ride.
• Bring your kids along to watch your workout and encourage them to try some moves.
• Get up early as a family and sweat.