Wanted: More Family-Friendly Fitness Classes

Tacling the Fit Family Challenge
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Photo courtesy of Jenny Prater
Kickboxing class at Triangle's Best Karate

Ten more days of the Fit Family Challenge, and I'm still pushing my kids and myself through it. I'm not giving up! We still struggle with getting enough exercise and making good food choices. I have received regular emails from the Fit Family Challenge experts, Evie, Ashley and Gaye, giving me support and encouragement. I appreciate all of their tips and advice. I joked with each of them how I wish I could simply have all of them shadow me all day to help me at every moment. Wishful thinking!

Although the main form of exercise for my family has been walking, hiking and swimming, I wanted to push our limits and try something new. I looked at the list of free classes on the Fit Family Challenge website. I've always wanted to try kickboxing so I decided to go to Triangle's Best Karate in Raleigh. When I told my kids, Allyson was really excited and started shadow boxing. Matthew moaned and groaned. I didn't know what to expect when we arrived at the dojo this past Saturday. We were the only family there. Sensei Cyndy Yu Robinson took us through warm up exercises. It was not easy, but the three of us got through it. Sensei Yu was very patient and kind. She let us hit the punching bags with boxing gloves, and she showed us how to properly kick. My kids and I loved it! We plan to go again this Saturday. 

This brings me to something that has been on my mind for the past few weeks. As glad as I was to be the only family at the dojo this past Saturday, this class is one of the very few that allows parents and kids to work out together. I made some phone calls to a few area fitness centers. None of them accommodated families with middle school-aged kids. Some fitness centers will have "Mommy and Me" classes for toddlers, but otherwise, the youngest age a person can be to work out in their gym is 14. So there is a huge age range of kids that can't exercise at fitness centers. Now, of course, I know most families get their school-aged kids involved in some type of sport or karate. I tried that with both my kids. It didn't work out. So now both my kids are over weight. Can't really jump into a sport now! Yeah, there are plenty of exercises we can do at home, exercise DVDs we can play on the TV or Youtube videos to watch on the computer. But the couch is right there looking so comfortable and inviting. We need to get out of the house. We need an exercise class we can all go to together! Aren't there other families out there who could benefit from this? Am I alone in this? 

Categories: Exercise, Fit Family, Fit Family Challenge