July 13, 2024

What fitness example do you set?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Encourage fitness by setting a healthy example!

Youngsters hear and see everything. Even when you think they aren’t paying attention, they are! If you pull on your jeans and grimace. If you complain how much you ate and now you “feel so fat”. If you are on the tennis court and whine how bad you are, can’t do anything right, or are so out of shape, you are setting an example. They look up to you, they think you are strong and capable. You’re the grown ups, after all. Set a strong, balanced, and empowered example of healthy living and smart fitness choices by using positive words and taking positive actions.



Interested in Running?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Start a Running Program!

So you’re interested in running to help your fitness? A common mistake of many beginning runners is doing too much too soon. Here’s how to get started effectively and safely:


Start with walk/jog intervals. Perform a walking warm up for 10 minutes, then start with 3-5, 10-30 second jogging intervals followed by 1-2 minute walking recovery intervals, complete your workout with a 10 minute walking cool down.

Wear running shoes. Go to your local sporting goods store and ask about running-specific shoes. Proper footwear is essential with high-impact fitness.

Listen to your body. When beginning a running program, listen to your body and level of soreness. Muscle aches are okay when starting new exercise, consistent pain is not.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Start a Fitness Tradition

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Start a tradition… of fitness!

Pick one day or one special occasion and initiate a fitness tradition. Begin with friends and family, and then invite neighbors, coworkers, and others from there. Perhaps a 2 mile walk on a designated route or time, or a 4 mile bike ride to a special destination, or maybe a 2 mile hike to an inspiring look out or peak. Let your imagination go and see where it takes you!

To get started:

Designate the same day each year. Planning your fitness tradition to happen on a holiday, or particular day each year, allows others time to plan to take part.

Follow a designated mileage or duration. A set goal or miles or duration allows everyone to train and prepare for your tradition.

Include the FUN. Add music, fun costumes, special invited guests or snacks! The sky is the limit.

Choose a person or cause to honor with your tradition. Honoring a special cause or person gives the tradition value and purpose.



Have FUN with your Fitness!

Does your fitness need a little FUN? Fun fitness means you’re more likely to log consistent workouts. Consistent workouts means results! So if you’re wandering through your workout on auto-pilot with little enthusiasm, it’s time to change up your approach. Motivation is waiting for you every Monday!

Pick up exercise tips, gear ideas and motivation solutions while chatting with others every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) with #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat on Twitter!

Here’s how to join:

Log into your twitter account. Enter #HealthyWayMag to see the chat feed. You’ll see questions for discussion posed as Q1 for Question 1, Q2 for Question 2 and so on. Participate by offering your Answer to Question 1 by noting A1 and so on. Tag your responses with #HealthyWayMag to interact with others. Chat with others and have fun!


Monday March 7, 2016 #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat is sponsored by Flip2BFit:

Fitness is more fun with friends and family joining in! Adding physical activity into your day and family time is as easy as a roll of the dice or flip of a card with Flip2BFit! Playing board games, you’ll be teaching your kids about cardio, yoga and strength exercises…all while having fun and setting up healthy behaviors for a lifetime. Check out their YouTube channel to learn more about their award winning products, FITNESS-IN-A-BOX Board Game and BAKARI-Fitness Memory Card Game. Be sure to follow them on Twitter @Flip2BFit to receive all updates. Their games may also be purchased on Amazon and ToysRUs. Makes a great gift for teachers, sports clubs and parent/child organizations!

Walking for Fitness

Get Fit Quick Tip:


Walking is effective cardiovascular exercise. Walking for fitness requires no additional equipment, and can be done right from your front door.

Ramp up your walking for fitness workout by adding in a few exercises at regular intervals:

Heel Raises: Stand keeping your torso straight. Lift and lower your heels.

Toe Raises: Stand keeping your torso straight. Lift and lower your toes.

Squats: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body toward the ground about six inches. Stand back up to return to your starting position.


*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Family Biking Fun by Jennifer Austin

Consider riding bikes for fun as a family. Pick up a bike map at your local bike shop, sit around the kitchen table together and plan a route for a group pedal.

Safety is paramount when riding with little ones. Helmets are a must for all riders. Teach kids these principles so they became safe riders:

Kids in the middle. Riding with one adult in front and one adult behind is a way to make sure everyone stays safe and with the group.

Buddy-up. The buddy system still exists because it works. For big groups, each rider should choose another to keep an eye on.

Focus forward. Reminding kids to focus their eyes forward at all times will insure they see obstacles in the road such as acorns, bumps in the road, tree branches and the like.

Shout it out. When riding with others, communicating about upcoming obstacles or changing direction is nice habit to put in place. For example, simply pointing at the ground as you’re riding by a hazard on the bike path will alert those behind you to something in the road they should be aware of.

Keep it steady. Riding at an even pace adds fitness benefits, but more importantly allows those around you to anticipate your moves. Darting in and out of traffic or speeding up and then randomly stopping creates a hazard to those around or behind you.

Yield to cars. Just because a cyclist legally has the right of way, doesn’t mean the driver sees them. Always assuming the driver does not see you, is a great rule. When in doubt, simply teach your kids to pull to the side of the road, stop and wait for the car, other cyclist, pedestrian, etc to pass.

Rules of the road apply to cyclists too. Cyclists should obey all road rules just as they are required as in a car. For example, teach kids to stop at stop signs, stop for red lights and pedestrians, ride on the correct side of the road, ride in the bike lane single file, and signal to motorists their course (right turn, left turn, etc.)

Pass on the left only. Slower riders should always ride on the right side of the bike path or road, allowing other riders to pass you on the left.

Be seen. Insist every rider wear visible clothing. Choose bright colors, reflectors or even a flashing light that attaches to the seat post is a great idea to insure visibility to cars, other riders and pedestrians.

Ride for fun and boost fitness for the whole family. No mileage or speed requirements. Stop and smell the flowers or check out an interesting sight along the way. Pack a lunch or snacks and sit and relax at your destination for awhile. Just go!

Family Fitness by Brett Klika, C.S.C.S

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) nearly 70% of America’s adults and about 30% of our children are overweight or obese.

It appears these stats aren’t independent.

Research suggests overweight, inactive children often come from overweight, inactive parents.

The cycle of caloric over-consumption and sedentary behavior in the home appears to be taking its toll on all members of the American family unit.

Children’s attitudes and behaviors towards exercise and nutrition are significantly influenced by their parents.  If mom and dad see exercise and quality nutrition as punitive, odds are, the kids will too.

On the other hand, if exercise and nutrition are embraced and celebrated in the home as part of a happy, healthy lifestyle, children learn positive habits for a lifetime.

A family that exercises together THRIVES together.  

Getting off the couch and sweating with your kids not only burns calories and improves fitness for everyone, it can improve your relationship, decrease stress, and increase academic performance.

Here are three tips to getting your family sweating and smiling together:

1.  Make it all about fun
Exercise is not limited to regimented routines.  Anything that is sustained, active, and physically challenging can improve health and vitality.

Find an activity the family likes to do together and do it a few times per week.

2.  Family challenges
Kids and adults both love a little competition.  While adults are often physically superior in regards to strength and other athletic attributes, certain activities can even the playing field.

Get off the couch and challenge your kids to one of these fun family competitions below, right in your living room!

1.  The Get-Up Guru
2. The Endurance Challenge
3. Fast Hands

3.  Speak kindly
Remember, if parents have a negative attitude about exercise and nutrition, their kids most likely will too.  If children hear that “mom or dad exercises because they’re fat and have to lose weight” it sounds like it’s a punishment.

When mom or dad talk about exercise in a positive light, i.e., “mom and dad exercise because it keeps us healthy and makes us feel good” it sounds like a reward.

Try these 3 tips to create a happy, healthy, active family for life!

Brett Klika, author of the Underground Workout Manual- Fat Loss Results for Busy Adults (www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com) is an award winning personal trainer, author, and international motivational speaker.  He inspires men, women, and children around the world to create a culture of wellness in their home and live the best version of their life.
Contact Brett with questions or comments at brett@spiderfitkids.com.

Making Meals Happen by Kristen Yarker

Two Foundational Steps for Making Meals Happen

Do you dream of having the family come together at the table every day? Are you at a loss about how to make it happen? If so, then you’re not alone.

Here are my two foundational steps for making meals happen:

1. Think Beyond Dinner. Don’t get fixated on dinner being the meal that your family eats together. In many families, it’s breakfast where people come together to eat and connect. It’s a fantastic way to start the day. Another great strategy is a bedtime snack/second dinner concept. This works well in families where one parent works later or gets home from their commute too late to eat dinner with (especially younger) kids. In this scenario, the parent who is home earlier makes dinner and eats it with the kids. When the later-arriving parent gets home, the kids join him/her at the table. The later-arriving parent eats warmed-up dinner and the kids eat their bedtime snack. This way everyone is eating together at the table and connecting.

2. Plan Your Schedule with Eating Together in Mind. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. There’s another saying that’s true too: “you can’t have it all”. This next piece of advice may sound harsh, however I’m sharing it in the attempt to be of service – to give some tough love. Many parents have told me that they can’t eat dinner together because the kids’ activities extend over dinnertime. Having this schedule means that you are choosing ballet and soccer as priorities over eating dinner together. Determining your family’s priorities is your choice. If you choose ballet and soccer that’s OK, own your choices! Determine your values, set priorities and then make your schedule to align with it. The problem comes if your schedule isn’t a match with your priorities. If it’s out of alignment, then make changes. If it is in alignment, then let go of the guilt of not being able to have it all.

Kristen Yarker is known as The Dietitian Who Transforms Picky Eaters into Food Confident Kids. From introducing solids through the picky eating years, she helps Moms and Dads be confident that they’re giving their kids good nutrition today… and instilling a life-long LOVE of healthy eating. Get scientific evidence-based answers to real questions from real parents (recipes too!) by signing up for her 101 Healthy Snack Ideas at: vitaminkconsulting.com

Exercise as a Family by Brett Klika C.S.C.S.

We as adults wish to create a future of happy, healthy, disease-free adults with our kids, it’s time we start practicing what we preach.  If we want healthy kids, it’s time for us to be models of a healthy lifestyle.

Our kids model our behavior.  Their attitudes and actions toward everything from nutrition to exercise are shaped by our own actions and behaviors.  If we want our kids to eat well, we need to eat well.  If we want them to exercise, we need to exercise.

The above modeling creates a culture of wellness in the home.  In this environment, children learn that healthy habits are a positive way of life, not punitive novelties sentenced to mom and dad for “eating too much yummy food.”

Exercising as a family is not only a fun way to improve fitness, it’s a way to cultivate the culture of wellness and develop positive exercise habits at a young age.

Below are some fun exercise-based family activities guaranteed to create smiles and sweat!

1.  Sock Play!
Everyone in the family gathers as many of their balled-up socks as they can carry.  An area is selected as the “goal.”  This can be a container or basket in living room, house, backyard, front yard, park, anywhere.  On a “go” signal, everyone tries to throw their socks in the goal the fastest.  The primary rule is you cannot throw from the same place twice.

Each “round” lasts 2 minutes then everyone gathers up his or her socks for 60 seconds.  Five “rounds” is 15 minutes of pretty intense exercise, assuming everyone is moving.   Points can be kept making a goal or basket or any other parameters.  Safety rules appropriate to the environment are established.

2.  Family Boot Camp
Each family member writes down 5 of his or her favorite bodyweight (or weighted, level appropriate) exercises, for a total of at least 20.  Exercises can be dance moves, calisthenics, martial arts, anything physical that the entire family can do.

The family then goes for a walk, jog, or run and every 60 seconds, they do one of the exercises for 30 seconds.  By the end of all of the exercises, it’s been a 20- minute work out!  Feel free to go into overtime!

3.  Hide and Sweat!
The adults in the family write down 20 physical activities on separate small pieces of paper. These are then hid around the house.  Kids are then tasked to find them. When they find them they open them and the entire family performs the activity for the reps or amount of time given.

Putting a time limit on finding all of the activities and doing all of the exercises makes it more interesting!

A family that exercises together stays together!  Create a culture of wellness in your home to help our children grow to become happy, healthy, disease free adults!

This article is written by Brett Klika. Brett Klika C.S.C.S., author of “The Underground Workout Manual- Exercise and Fat Loss in the Real World” (www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com) is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. In his 15 year career, Brett has accrued more than 20,000 hours of training with youth, athletes, executives, and every day people. He uses this knowledge and experience to motivate individuals and audiences around the world through his writing, speaking, DVD’s, and free blog, www.brettklika.com. To try the Underground Workout Manual for FREE, visit www.brettklika.com.

Family Hiking Tips! Written by Suzi Smart

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Family Hiking Tips! Written by Suzi Smart

Hiking as a family is a great way to enjoy an active lifestyle, explore the natural environment and reconnect with each other. Young or old, winter or summer, hiking can be enjoyed around the world. Preparing for success on the trail helps ensure that everyone enjoys themselves to the fullest.

Here are Five Tips for Hiking with Kids:

Pick suitable trails. Make sure the distance, terrain and elevation gain is achievable for your little hiker – it’s better to do a slightly easier hike than one that makes the experience unhappy. Choose trails that are interesting – while adults can often be lured down the trail by the destination, for children it’s all about the journey. Choose trails with changing scenery and lots of things to see and do.

Slow the pace. Let the youngest hiker set the pace, family hiking is about enjoying time together as a family not about getting a workout. Make sure there’s time built in for exploring along the trail, climbing the boulders and tossing stones into the stream. Bring a field guide and learn about the animals and plants along the way.

Go with friends. Whether you go with one other family or an entire group, your child will enjoy running along the trail with a friend or two. In addition, with the relaxed pace, it’s a great time to chat and connect with friends or make new ones.

Pick your time. Pick a high energy time for your child, making sure that there’s enough time to complete the hike before any usual nap or quiet time. Some trails may require a little more consideration – some are brutal in the midday, summer sun while a waterfall on another may catch the morning sun.

Pack snacks and water. Pack some favourite snacks or a picnic and stop for a break along the way. It’s particularly important to make sure that everyone stays hydrated along the trail – ensure that you pack enough water for everyone.

In the end, the goal is to have fun, enjoy the experience and create a love of hiking that will last a lifetime. If something’s not working, reassess the situation and try a new approach. There’s nothing better than hearing “let’s go hiking up a mountain” in response to asking your child what they want to do. Happy trails.

Advisory: Always remember there are inherent risks when hiking, always use caution and assess trails and conditions carefully.

This article is written by Suzi Smart. Suzi is a stay-at-home mom raising a spirited three-year old boy, a wife, an outdoor enthusiast, graphic designer, writer and photographer. She writes The Big Picture – Inspiring families to find happiness outdoors and can be reached at TheBigPictureCalgary@gmail.com or @BigPictureYYC on Twitter.