So how do we do that? How can we exercise with our child so it is beneficial to not only me but also for my child? Well, in our society we have many opportunities to have quality time with our children, but sadly many parents just don't do it. We are all busy and seem to be rushing about and our poor children have to either keep up with us or perish. The do good'ers of the intellectual world harp on about positive parenting in a dysfunctional world. So how does one achieve that? How does a dad or mom manage to be a positive role model and influence for his or her daughter while staying fit and healthy? Well in this article it is my intention to share with you one way how I have managed to do just that! It involves exercising not just with your child, but actually using your child as the heavy load. Yes you heard me! You do not need to worry about rushing about to squeeze in a session at the gym or go to meetings on weight loss, you can stop all that because it is simply not needed. You get to interact and engage with your child while they see you exercising. You become a great role model and kill some calories in the process. How cool is that?
Ok so what is it exactly that I am talking about? Well it's doing exercises such as lunges, or push ups, or squats, but you do it whilst carrying your child or whilst giving them a cuddle. You get fit. You get to play with your child and everyone is a winner! In doing these exercises you create a strong bond with your child which fosters interaction and an eternal link with them. You can go out to the beach, or to the park, or you can just do it in the comfort of your own home. You are just using them to replace the dumbbells and they are having a great time. How easy is that? Let me ask you this, how many kids love to be lifted above their parents head, high up in the sky? How much laughter and fun is there for your child to climb on your back or up on your shoulders? Believe me the kids love it! All you have to do is the exercise itself. Now this is not a new concept or revolutionary idea, as parents across the world have done this for generations. However, what I am suggesting is to tie it together with the things you have always done to the things you always do at the gym. You are just being focused on the actual exercise element of having fun with your child. So what exercises I hear you ask? Well here is an example for you to try out with your child:
Lifting up above your head x 3
Throwing them in the air x 3
Get them to count as you do it!
Lay them down on your back as you do push ups x 3
Giving them a cokey back as you do a lunge x 3
Putting them on your shoulders as you do squats x 3
Put your child in their stroller and go for a run. The resistance of pushing the stroller is fantastic for the thighs and is a great CV work out.
Put them in the toddler bike seat and go for a cycle.
These are all just the start of the exercise and bonding sessions and the examples above can be adapted and developed. As you get fitter you can increase the demands and the durations etc. But a word of warning, your kids are going to love this so much that they are going to be asking you to do it again and again. Be prepared to get fit and have a great time with your little bundle of joy. Positive parenting doesn't get much better than this. So go on all you parents out there share the joy and have some positive interactions with your child in a focused energetic manner. You know you can do it! Now we know how positive parenting can include exercising with your child, what we don't know is... are you ready.
Our friend Mark Gorman recorded this video with his daughter