Working out with the family – more than a last resort

Working out with the family - Champagne Cartel

This post is sponsored by Bupa.

I love to workout alone. It is literally the only time I am ever alone. I have company in my bed, small people chat to me when I’m showering, even toileting is a spectator sport in my house. But working out alone is not always possible. Last week I posted a great home workout you can do with your kids around, but this week, we are doing something even crazier: working out WITH your family.


I know. It’s not ideal, but there is that page in the parenting manual that says we’re supposed to be teaching them to be active and healthy and all that blah blah. So when Bupa asked if we’d like to be involved in their Bupa Family Challenge supporting Healthy Harold, I took it as a sign that it may be time to get my family together and being active as a team.

Not so bad, right?

There are a whole lot of family challenges to choose from on the Bupa Family Challenge website. There is a winter challenge, a healthy lunchbox challenge, a sugar challenge, and heaps more. But Husby and I are both avid runners so we chose the Family Fun Run challenge.

My kids received this news with mixed enthusiasm. Miss 10 loves the idea of getting a medal at the end of a fun run, but doesn’t care for the training aspect. Master 4 loves running. He’s like a border collie – he’d run all day if you let him. Add some sheep to herd, and he’d be highly effective on a small farm. Little Red, who is nearly 3, likes to watch Peppa Pig and eat cake. Running is what she does to ensure she gets to the last piece of cake before anyone else. In her defence, she is tiny so I figure the length of her legs makes running a challenge. But when we said we were going to run together as a family, surprisingly, they were all excited.

The Family Fun Run challenge starts with everyone having a healthy low-GI breakfast each day. This bit we were already nailing, with a variety of smoothies, eggs, oats and fruit, so we smugly moved on to the actual training bit. We introduced running in a gentle way, by heading to the local park and including running in our games. We raced each other for the frisbee, which Master 4 loved and the girls sneered at. Husband got all competitive and tried to push me out of contention, but I’m taking that as a sign that he’s threatened by my athletic prowess.

Working out with the family - Champagne Cartel

Then we hit the gym equipment at the park, and capped it off with some lunges, pushups and stretches. The children thought these were hilarious and “a bit dumb” but they did them anyway. I was the only one that had trouble walking the next day. Damn kids.

Working out with the family - Champagne Cartel

And every second day we have been cross training. Luckily, Husby is a qualified yoga instructor (from another life he led eons ago), so he has been taking us through our downward dogs and cobras every second morning before breakfast. The kids absolutely love this – it’s probably their favourite part of the whole challenge.

But what has been great is that we’ve found since staritng this challenge, we are all more active than we were before. Husby and I still run on our own (thank goodness!) but instead of just expecting the kids to go out and play in the yard (and finding them lolling about instead of jumping on the trampoline), we are all getting active together – and that can only be a great thing for them as they grow up.

We’re even considering registering for the next Twilight Run in Brisbane, in our own different categories.

If you’d like to fit a bit more activity in your family’s schedule, this is a great way to do it. It doesn’t feel like too much so it’s not intimidating, but it all adds up, and it’s so fun to have something active we all do together.

Add to that, 93 per cent of families who participated said the Bupa Family Challenge has improved their health. That’s massive, right? What have you got to lose?

Will you try a Bupa Family Challenge?


Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


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