IVANA’S FAMILY FITNESS STORY
Most of my life I had been in pretty good shape, always incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. But that quickly changed after giving birth to two beautiful girls. Losing weight after child birth has been a big struggle. I thought that I would just restart my exercise routine and eventually bounce back. 9 years passed and I still wasn’t even close to my goal. The numbers on the scale bounced up and down like somebody twerking.
I know many parents have the same challenge finding time to squeeze in a workout during a busy day. Even if I did find the time to do it, it always seemed like someone needed mommy’s time more. But for the most part, since I was working full-time and then running around with the kids to after-school activities, I was just too exhausted to exercise even after they all went to sleep. The thought of waking up at 4:00am was just out of the questions for me. I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. Apparently I turn into a monster and don’t snap out of it until the next day. So I’ve heard. LOL.
I was unhappy with myself and angry that I couldn’t do anything about it. My personal pity party led me to eat more junk food, which tipped the scale even more! Last year, I was at my heaviest ever. What was I doing to myself?
That’s when I decided that I needed to make time for me! I do so much for my family, it was time that I did something for myself. I also figured that in the long run it would benefit them as well to have a healthier and happier mom.
So I got a gym membership at the local YMCA, which I felt was a good start. I got into a routine and I felt so much better mentally and physically. On top of working out, I started making healthier meal choices since I knew that exercise alone wasn’t not going to cut it. I love baking, as you can probably tell from our blog! So this was no easy feat.
In just one year I managed to lose 20 lbs with this exercise routine and improved diet. I honestly felt a change in my mood. I tend to have a better, happier and more productive day with even just giving myself 30 minutes of sweat time.
Two things helped me get into this routine:
1. By working out at the YMCA, I was able to put the kids in activities and work out at the same time, so it was a win-win situation!
2. Pure determination.
So here I was, in a great routine and making progress and then like the rest of the world, BAM. It all changed. The gyms closed and my kids were home 24/7. Finding this chunk of ‘me-time’ seemed nearly impossible. I tried, as my kids are now 7 and 8, thinking they could be independent for 30 minutes! So I told them they can only disturb mom’s workout if the following happens:
1. The house is on fire
2. If you or your sister is hurt…this means bleeding or a broken bone. If none of the following apply, you better NOT disturb me. This worked for a little while but slowly I was needed more and more to break up fights between the two of them. I realized that they too had a lot of energy bottled up inside them with school being closed and no extra-curricular physical activities that they used to go to.
Combining Family Fitness and Fun
This is when I decided I needed to make working out a family affair. Now I realize even more that they need to understand the importance of making exercise a part of everyday life to stay healthy. Doing this together as a family was the perfect way to teach them and maybe even have some fun.
Since I was no longer going to the gym, I found a wonderful way of staying fit at home. I was happy to find a set of exercise programs online, designed by a company called Team Body Project. They provide free workouts as well as premium memberships for all fitness levels. So no gym memberships fees (Yay!) and no equipment is required to do their work outs. I also really appreciated that they have several workout videos for different fitness levels; Beginner, Beginner-Intermediate, Intermediate, Intermediate-Advanced and Advanced. I also like that many of the programs are designed to be low impact so its not hard on your joints.
Team Body Project creators Daniel, with a boxing background and Alexandra, a fitness instructor, are married with 3 kids. Their on screen energy is entertaining and humorous. With their strong collective knowledge, they provide useful tips and definitely keep you motivated. I feel like their workouts are achievable and geared to busy every day folks who aren’t starting off in the best shape. You’re not expected to do long, strenuous workouts to start. As their signs say in the background PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION!
What I enjoy most about their workouts is that there are a variety of videos to choose from so you won’t get bored doing the same routine over and over again. I also feel like I am working every part of my body by the time I am done. They have workouts that range from 15 minutes to an hour for all fitness levels as mentioned earlier. But just because you only have 15 minutes to dedicate to a workout doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a walk in the park. Daniel and Alex will definitely make you sweat in places you never thought you could sweat before!
I truly love what this has done for our family. Not only has this program allowed us to incorporate fitness into our family life, It has also given us an element of fun. When the kids hear that my husband and I are about to start a Team Body Project video, they quickly get their water bottles (to use as their weights) and take their places. They even have their favorite work out video: the 45 min fat burning fun cardio workout also known as “The Sandwich”.
We have been doing the Team Body Project work-out videos from home now for about 6 months and I have definitely seen results. I have lost some more weight, gotten stronger and have gained muscle definition. I feel good about myself and what I have accomplished, not just for myself but for my family.
NADIA’S FAMILY FITNESS STORY
My husband and I haven’t worked out together since the kids came along. Before the kids came, we were in amazing shape, always going for a run or to the gym after work. Then I got pregnant and frankly, so did he. Lol. Sedentary lifestyles thanks to sitting in front of a computer all day, and a commute didn’t help much. We had both tried independently for years to fit in time to exercise, but neither of us were able to stick with it.
Then the world changed and everyone was stuck at home. A couple of months into this new normal, I realized that was an opportunity for us to incorporate fitness into our lives as a family. The kids needed to be active and there was only so long we could expect them to hang out in the backyard! So we tried a couple of videos geared to families but we couldn’t seem to get into it. Then I came across Team Body Project. After the first video, we were hooked.
We were at beginner level physically so this worked perfectly for us. Truth be told, it took me at least 3 weeks of consistently doing these videos for the feeling of wanting to throw up to end! Yes, I was that bad. LOL. The kids have really taken to Daniel and Alex! Although they think Alex is a bit too tough and they love when Daniel acts like he’s going to pass out from exhaustion. LOL. Yes, we know he’s tougher than that! The kids always end up fighting over space as we are just working out in our basement, and the effort they are put in is questionable! But they love this time together.
What I feel most satisfied about is that we are modelling active and healthy living by incorporating these workouts into our daily life. They are watching us work hard to become fit and healthier. We are showing them perseverance and determination. As you can see, this has meant much more to me than just helping pass the time!
What’s even more incredible is that Ivana and I had no idea we were doing the same workout program until a month or two in when we started chatting about how we were fitting in time to exercise! This is why we felt compelled to write about this.
There are a lot of moments where we are out of breath and feel like we are being tortured. LOL. Yet we are still calling this family fun. I know its weird! But I guess its just the fact that we are in it together.
Check out these other fun family activity ideas!