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Working Out (with Kids)


Exercise is an important part of my daily routine. I work out daily, even if I have a couple of little workout buddies. It is a rare treat for me to work out completely alone. If I waited for them to remain asleep or be out of the house, I would not get to work out as often as I do or be able to write as much as I do. If there are things I want to do, I have to figure out how to do with my kids.

My workout routine, right now, is the Classic P90X* and I’m following the lean schedule. I’m a big fan of Tony Horton and all of the P90X workouts, especially P90X3. In fact, I would credit Tony Horton for helping me lose all of the baby weight from my pregnancies. What I like about this program is it includes three strength days targeting different muscle groups, two cardio days, and two flexibility days which includes yoga. I’m typically not a fan of cardio, but Kenpo X, a kickboxing routine, is simply fun, and the Cardio X includes a variety of exercises including those from yoga and Kenpo X.


During weekdays, I work out while Maggie is at school so I have one little workout buddy. Hazel is fun to exercise with because she’s my great imitator. Whatever the routine, she stands at my side and follows along. If it’s Kenpo X, Hazel is kicking and throwing punches into the air, but in her case, she looks like she’s swatting at flies instead of throwing punches. With weight exercises, she’ll follow along the movements without weights, like squats, lunges, or curls. With yoga, she’ll do a great downward dog, but usually at that point, she’ll stop her workout and crawl under me as if I’m a bridge.


Maggie’s participation in my workouts is a little more involved. Maggie doesn’t imitate. Instead, she’ll throw herself in as additional resistance. For example, if I’m doing pushups, Maggie climbs on to my back. To account for Maggie’s additional 38 pounds, I’ll drop to my knees or simply hold plank. I’m not strong enough to do pushups with Maggie on my back (yet). If I’m doing squats, she’ll want me to pick her up and hold her, which I do. If I have the pull up resistance bands attached to the door, both kids will play with them.


I exercise in front of my kids because I want them to see that I value self-care. Exercise is not about weight loss. It’s about gaining strength, aging well, and taking care of my body. Exercise gives me a physical and chemical release that alleviates frustration and stress. If I don’t work out, I find myself short-tempered and struggling to deal with the challenges of the day. I need to work out to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better person for myself. I hope that being this example will encourage them as they grow to take care of their bodies through exercise in whatever form they prefer.


Tony Horton has a series of tips of the day and quotes in his workout videos that I think are fantastic advice for exercise and life in general. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “Do your rest and forget the rest.”

  • “Bring it!”

  • “Don’t smash your face!”

  • “Take in the fact that you just did that.”

  • “Don’t hold your breath. Remember to breathe.”

  • “If you need one, take a break. Look at me, I’m taking a break, what the hell, life is good, I’m the leader and I can do whatever I want. But when you’re back, you’re back with a vengeance.”

  • “I don’t believe in age; I don’t believe in aging. Whatever, I’ve got your aging right here.”

  • “Quality over quantity.”

  • “Don’t let your ego get in the way of your success.”

  • “Focus on the present moment. Stay in the moment.”

*I don’t get paid to promote anyone or anything. If I promote a program or products, it’s because it’s something I use or believe in.

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