I have a question for you, are you a watcher or a doer with your exercise? Think about it for a moment. The natural response is typically “doer” and that’s how I always looked at myself until I became a parent and everything changed. As parents we unknowingly become watchers. We watch our kids play and practice their sports. We watch our kids ride their bikes, play at the park, swim at the pool, and so on. The list of things we watch our kids do is endless. In the pre- kid days, we used to be the ones doing the activities, burning the calories, and having fun, but because of a true lack of time and a shift in priorities, we have morphed into calorie-storing watchers. Time becomes almost impossible to find, and if we can’t get to the gym for sixty minutes, we think, What’s the point? Well, it’s time to abandon the watcher mindset and realize that everywhere your kids are exercising, you can too. In essence, everywhere you go, with or without your kids, can become a gym, which is exactly what chapter seven in my new book is all about.
A perfect example of this is at Hunter’s soccer practice. It takes place at a big grass complex with multiple fields. There may be six to eight teams training at once, and it’s interesting to watch. Every boy and girl is out training hard and working up a sweat, and 99 percent of the parents are sitting in their chairs talking with each other and watching the activity. Then one day, our practice session was moved to a different complex, one that had a track. What happened during practice blew me away. About 40 percent of the parents who had been sitting in their chairs at the grass field bypassed their chairs and walked or jogged the track. It initially took me by surprise, and I then realized that most of us simply adapt to our surroundings. Because there was a track and an official place to exercise, it made sense for many of the parents to get active. But we all could’ve been walking, jogging or even doing jumping jacks at the facility without the track.
In essence, that’s the evolution we must make as parents to shift from watcher status back to doer status. You see everything can be turned into a gym or exercise moment—you just have to visualize how to do it. Not needing a track to walk is a theme that transcends to all places, whether you’re at a field, a park, a swim meet, basically anywhere you or your kids go. Instead of sitting and watching your kids be active, you get active too. You can do fat-burning cardio like walking or jogging, or maybe you dive into some high-intensity cardio like sprints, or jumping rope. Bottom line, bring some sneakers, dress for a workout, and get to it. Soon you’ll be keeping your chair in the car!
And to bring a smile to your face and provide you a great visual here’s a graphic to see how easy it is to ditch your chair, get your exercise in and still watch your kids play!