Staying Active: Family Fitness Tips from Picabo Street
By Kate Bowler
As a busy working-mom, Picabo Street, Olympic Gold Medalist, knows the struggle of finding time to exercise and stay fit: "Exercise changed a lot for me when I retired from being an active athlete and then shortly after becoming a mom. The whole concept of exercise changed for me, knowing that I can't get to the gym. I have to come up with something to do every day within my own home to feel like I've done something to keep myself healthy." She shared her best fitness tips with us on how she makes time to get in her personal exercise and how she engages her family in staying active and healthy:
Incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. "As a professional athlete I spent a lot of time in the gym, actually so much time that I kind of burnt out on the gym and I don't really like it anymore. And that's OK, because I have a lot of activity going on in my family that can keep me motivated. My kids are active, so I try to come in and participate with them and that's how I get my exercise a lot of times these days." Picabo plays outside with her kids and joins in on the fun. Running around with her kids is a great form of daily fitness that doesn't require visiting the gym - and keeps the kids active too. "We just play and they don't really realize they're getting exercise."
Find opportunities to educate kids about fitness. "I'm at a really good time in my kids' age to teach them about the importance of exercise because they're studying the human body in school. So when they come home and they have their homework and we're talking about the human body and how it works, we can talk about the organs and how they work and what helps them and what doesn't help them and it just fits right along with what they're already learning." Finding these opportunities to educate her children about the importance of exercise helps create a personal interest for the kids in their own health.
Get a work-out buddy. Picabo finds that committing to personal fitness goals or exercise routine with the help of another person helps her remain accountable. "I know that working out and staying fit is a challenge for everybody, and I know it's more of a challenge for moms like me who have a bunch of kids and a busy schedule and are working. I think what's most important is how you plan an approach for getting fitness into your life. Having someone to be accountable to is extremely important. So get help. Have somebody at the gym, even if it's a girlfriend that you're going to go work out with at the gym and say, 'Hey, we're going to go work out three days a week and we're going to be accountable to one another to do that.' Build in ways for you to succeed by using help."
Spend time on the activities that you enjoy. Another tip Picabo has for fitting exercise into her routine is to find the activities that you want to make time for. "Look into an exercise routine that's really going to benefit you in the way that you want to. So when you do get a chance to go work out, you're doing what you want to do and you're getting the benefits you want from it. Maybe it's yoga so you can calm down and de-stress during that time. If you want to pump up and get strong and release some energy -- go kickboxing and do some power-lifting. If you want some time to yourself and your thoughts, go for a long, slow jog if you've got time. Know what's going to make you feel better and plan that for yourself."
How do you make time for you and your family to get exercise and stay active?
For more of Picabo Street's tips to keep your family healthy, active and inspired, visit Be Well For Life.
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