Working Out With Kids

exercisewithkidsAs a parent, it is vital that you are living the healthy lifestyle that you want for your child.  Saying one thing and doing another won’t work very well in the long run.  I encourage parents to get their own workouts in (away from the kids) but also get some workouts in while their kids are around, and at times climbing all over you.  Sure it won’t be quite as good of a workout, but it will get the kids excited.  I can’t tell you the number of adults I have worked with who have extremely poor nutrition and exercise habits.  I would estimate at least 80% of those came from a home that relied on fast food, pre-packaged box dinners, and lived a sedentary lifestyle.  Just think about what it is like today… far less activity and more and more junk is getting fed to our children than 30 years ago.  That is why experts believe that obesity is going to skyrocket even more in the next 30 years.

I had mentioned a week ago that I plan on making some workout DVDs that kids and parents can do together!  I am very excited for this challenge and opportunity.

I would like to share with you a story about a client of mine named Jen, who does MamaTone and Fit Moms For Life. She does an awesome job getting her kids involved with her workouts.  She also has some of the best arms you will see on a woman… Sorry Mrs. Obama.

What types of activities do you like to do with your kids?  Do you have any tips for parents out there?


  1. This is awesome! Even our 10 y/o loves to do silly stuff that helps us in our workouts.

  2. Absolutely adorable! 🙂

  3. Nancy Wescott says:

    My 5 year old does an entire 45 minute workout with the High School Dance Team, which includes a 15 to 20 minute run. My proudest moment of this is when she is so excited about it and says “This is healthy for me right Mom” and follows it up with, can I come every week? She is in week 3 already:) I am hoping this will make life for her as an adult much easier since the habit is starting so young:) Way to go Dustin!!!!!!

  4. Hi Dustin,

    I love reading your blog and listening to you on WPR — so motivating. I was actually just thinking last week about asking you to demo some exercises to do with kids, and voila! it shows up. Cool.

    I have a related idea that I think would be fun (at least in the summer — this is Wisconsin ;). Would you be willing to do a video or something showing a workout you could do at a playground or with playground equipment? I’ve noticed in playing with my kids that some stuff that I used to do as a kid, like the monkey bars, is actually pretty tough as an adult, and my kids would love it if Mommy actually “played” too.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  5. Melissa K says:

    Love this segment! My 4 year old has his own set of 3lb weights so he can exercise with mommy. Watching my 4 and 2 year old do jumping jacks with Abby (Got Core DVD) is so funny I sometimes forget I’m supposed to be doing them too.
    We have also taught our older son that his meals should have a variety of foods(carbs, protein, fat) and include a vegetable or fruit. He now asks what proteins and what vegetables we have when I ask him what he wants for lunch. Kids naturally crave a lot of carbs, since they are growing so fast, so he has no problem getting those in.

  6. Louise Brown says:

    Dustin what you said about the “Mom” being the inspiration is completely and hands-down true. When my son and daughter (now 11 and 6) see me working out (and I have been since he was 1) they know it is part of being healthy. They understand that bodies aren’t meant to sit around. When they see other people who do they will make comments around the fact that it isn’t healthy.

    I love when my son and daughter will do planks and supermans with me. My son is now helping my husband with a goal to lose 3 inches off his waist. They run the neighborhood (weather permitting here Syracuse, NY).

    I think they will keep these habits for life!

  7. Our oldest son did his first youth triathlon when he was 5. He was nervous before the start, which made the finish more fantastic. He surprised himself, a great lesson in sports & life, changing perceptions of what’s possible! My hubby & I have done triathlons of all distances, and I am a certified coach. When you can swim, bike & run as a family, it’s easy & fun to stay active. Our middle son learned some animal yoga moves at preschool, the cutest ever! And our toddler loves to steal my Bosu, stability ball and foamroller.
    Fun clip!

  8. If you love the idea of involving your kids in your workouts, come check out our class: My Community Fitness for Parents on the east side in the gym at Bethany Church on Atwood Ave Tuesdays at 6:30 and 7:15 pm

  9. Patty Munro says:

    This is sooo true! Seeing your kids exercise and eat right …. cant say enough good about it! I felt so good about myself when my 6-year-old came home from school one day and said he forgot to bring something for show and tell, so instead he showed them how he does pushups and crunches and vacuums! The teacher sent me a note and was thrilled! When we eat, he asks “is this healthy for me?” My 12-year-old does the FMFL DVDs with me…Takes a little stud to do a workout that is designed for moms! 🙂

  10. LOVE the idea of a playground workout…SO practical!!!! My husband was just doing chest presses using our 5-year-old last night! Dustin, I love reading the FM4L comments on the side of the page. My stats aren’t changing much despite diet and bootcamp/DVDs (I’m working out some thyroid issues), but the mental clarity and increased energy and self-esteem are keeping me motivated until the numbers start dropping. I look forward to becoming another in your long line of success stories!

  11. That was great! Way to go Jen! My kids are to big now, but they do like to try exercises they see me do on the ball or ask to go on the treadmill. And they like to come to class and watch and then try out some moves after when there is no school! Makes me feel good that they are interested in it and want to try it. And my 6 year old daughter may have a little crush on Dustin, so that may be part of why she likes to come to class! 🙂

  12. So sweet-brings tears to my eyes. Lucky are the children that have parents who care! Congratulations on helping to change the face of tomorrow-your grand children will reap the benefits of your current efforts.

  13. That’s was great! My 3-year-old watched the video with me then tried some jumping jacks…too funny! When I do the core exercises he gets his ball out and tries to do what I’m doing. It always makes me laugh and that helps to get through the workout!

  14. Anything to instill in our children that exercise is fun. Exercise was not fun for me as a child, but as an adult it’s something that I look forward to each day.

    Thanks Dustin & Abby!!!

  15. Well done, I can’t wait to go home and work out with my 4 year old!

  16. That is a cute video and a wonderful idea. My only question is I have 3 kids how do you keep it to only one climbing on you at a time?!

  17. Thanks for sharing, Dustin. I don’t have kids (yet), but many of my clients do and they will enjoy these exercises.

  18. Hi Dustin! What a great segment – my kids watched it with me and can’t wait to try out the exercises!

  19. I just posted your RSS feed to my website – Stop Pinching Your Sister (Practical Parenting Tips Based on My Columbia MBA). Check it out at

  20. Anne-Marie Peterson says:

    My husband and I are starting out the new year focusing on eating healthy with our family and exercising regularly ourselves. We already encourage the kids to play outside and be active, so now it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. We can’t agree more that having kids be a part of a healthy lifestyle is a good thing. Thanks for highlighting this aspect, and sharing the great video. I’m sharing it with my cousin and his wife who are new parents. I’m sure it will give the new mom some great ideas.

  21. Thanks, Dustin. I appreciate your creative approach to fitness! Given that my youngest child is 11 and close to 90 pounds, I think I’ll be doing my workout next to her, rather than with her on my back 🙂 But it’s a wonderful idea for parents of small children. I also agree 100% about the importance of setting an example for kids. Keep up the good work!

  22. Awesome Jen!

    I was just thinking about this topic when trying to fall asleep the other night (summer is starting here in WI) and wrote some ideas down. I must have missed this when it was first posted. I second, third & fourth the idea of having some options to do at a playground with the kids.

    Some “playground” ideas that popped into my head where triceps dips on the benches or stairs, pullups on the bars, step ups on the benches or steps. The kids can do them along with you and/or count for you.

    Some short burst cardio ideas I had were playing tag with the kids. If you have two, as I do I was thinking that you could have them run in different directions and then tag one and then go tag the other, back & forth.

    Another is to have a starting line and then have the child(ren) stand at different distances away from the start line. Then run out to the child / run back to the start line. Have the child stand at another distance, and repeat until the 45 or 30 seconds has past. The kids get to pick how far you run.

    Then there’s always working in the sand or pebbles that are often near the playgrounds if that is available. Lunges (with weights) – forward, back & side – side shuffles. I remember Dustin pointing different directions for us to go back and forth with side shuffles in the sand. The kids could direct this.

    More ideas would definitely be welcome! 😀

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