Heart Choices: Fitness Friday -->

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Fitness Friday

It's Friday, so it must be Fitness Friday. If you missed my post last Friday, I approached Sandy at God Speaks Today because I love reading her Fitness Friday posts. Sandy's a freelance writer on health and fitness and my background is cardiovascular nursing. So, I thought we could each offer our unique perspectives. So, don't forget to drop by Sandy's Fitness Friday post too.

If you want to get fit or lose weight, would you ask someone who is overweight for advice? I doubt it. Wouldn't you want to talk to someone who is successful and could share their tips and advice about living a healthy lifestyle?

Jamie is a 30 something friend of mine. She's a wife and mother of five children who range in age from 4 months to 14 years old. She home schools all her kids and wow; are they smart! And by the way, did I mention that Jamie runs one or two marathons a year and is in great shape?

Now, don't think she's a Stepford Wife. (I don't know if you're old enough to remember that movie about wives that were made into robots so they could become the perfect wife.) Well, that's definitely not Jamie! She'd be the first one to say that she makes her share of mistakes and learns along the way.

Since I don't have children and many of you are moms, I thought it might be helpful to find out what works for a busy mom who wants to stay in shape and be healthy. So, I emailed Jamie a few questions. She wrote back the same day with her answers. How's that for being organized?

I'm not going to share all of her tips because this post would be much longer. So, I'll save some of them for another time. But here are a few of her tips and ideas:

  • Jamie mentioned priorities and time management on the top of her list. She makes time for what is important and "daily exercise and prayer are at the top". I loved reading how she organizes her home so each child knows what's expected of them. Hmmm ...very wise.

  • Jamie has established the best time for her to exercise. In her case, the afternoons work best. She assigns the older children to rotate caring for the younger toddlers and babies while she exercises.

  • She incorporates variety into her exercise regimen. One day she might jog on the treadmill or do an aerobic video. The kids sometimes exercise alongside Mom. There are days when a formal workout isn't feasible. So, Jamies tries to incorporate some kind of exercise into her day, like roller skating around the driveway, jumping on the trampoline with the kids or simply walking briskly to get the mail. She gives herself the freedom to miss a day now and then and not feel guilty about it.

  • She sets a goal of running one or two races a year. She writes that it helps her to work towards something and then to be able to celebrate when she completes it. (Love this!)

  • Jamie tapes a picture of herself running her last half marathon on her bathroom mirror. It's a great reminder of how good she felt after completing the race with her husband Todd and the kids cheering her on.

  • Jamie and Todd sometimes even plan their family vacations around a race. The children are encouraged to participate. Braden is 14 years old and he's on his dad's cycling team. He often does 30 mile training rides with the men and occasionally joins in a race with his dad.
Here's six year old Mary. She received a medal for a tandem bike race. Way to go, Mary!

In the life of this busy family, exercising and a healthy lifestyle are just a part of their normal routine. Jamie says that "for our children, it is just how we live and a part of who we are".

I love how Jamie and Todd lead and teach by example. It's one thing to tell kids what to do but ...it's so much better to live it out in front of them. And the whole family has fun doing it together.

Now, maybe your family isn't quite as active but don't despair. It's never too late to get started even with small changes to work towards a healthier family lifestyle.

So, now how about you? How do you fit in time for exercise for yourself particularly if you have children? Do you exercise together?

Don't forget to visit Sandy for her Fitness Friday post too.
Debbie Petras
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  1. Oh, Debbie! I LOVE Jamie. Can she be my friend too? I can't wait to read the rest of her tips. We have much in common.

    Great stuff!


  2. Hi Debbie!!

    I have about 60 pounds to lose now!! That's a big improvement from where I started! So, I feel I'm on the downside of this now--a big boost.

    I work with a girl who has lost almost 80 pounds and kept it off. She is determined that this is the last time she is going to do this. So, I ask her for advice.

    She has her entire family room set up as an exercise room. She's invited me several times to come and work out with her. So far, I haven't. I think with your and Jamie's inspiration, this week will be the week.

    I used to walk outside, but this morning it's 9 degrees outside with wind chills at -20. Brrrrr...just a little chilly!!


  3. Debbie,

    Incredible! Great post. I love to see a family work together as a team in keeping everyone healthy.

    Blessings to you today.

  4. I am the only official exerciser in the house. Makes it kind of lonely for me. I run in the mornings, after devo time and the kids are at school. When they're home, I schedule it in around noon when hubby is home for lunch. On days I don't run, I usually do weights or a tape. Exercise is not my problem. I think there is another culprit! Working on it. One lb. at a time.

    Thanks for the encouragement. No marathons in my future, of that I am sure!


  5. Debbie,

    I just wanted to come back by and say 'thank you' for your sweet, kind words of encouragement. I so needed to hear them.

    Sending you a great big ((hug)) from Florida!! And again, thank you!

  6. Jamie seems so fun :) What an encourgaing post, Debbie! Thank you!

    I usually work out when my 2 year old is down for his nap or after my hubby gets home from work. But sometimes, my son and I exercise together - and it's usually pretty hilarious. Two year olds are the best workout buddies ever :) Too fun :)

    Thanks for sharing Jamie's story! Have a great weekend!

    Kate :)

  7. Dear Debbie,
    I am so motivated for loosing weight, you just cannot imagine.
    My kilos crept in on me after I stopped smoking some 12 years ago. The doc syas nicotine does something to the metabolism, destroys a natural function.
    Then I had all this bones breaking due to osteoporosis.
    That did not help me moving about as much I I like to do.

    Walking is my favorite. As i cannot walk fast, I and my friends are staying out for ca four hours every Tuesday.
    I need to do more.
    Somehow I do not think I overeat.
    I just exercise too little.

    This New Year I had the intention to do somethting 15 minutes morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
    The this flue came.

    I will not give up.
    I've bought a Moleskin to make notes in.
    Instead of despairing over lost time and gained pounds, I'll
    Focus on what i have obtained.
    Every little thing counts, don't you think?

    In May I am going for a 40 aniversary jubilee for my old school.
    Guess if I am motivated.
    I don't want to disappoint all those who remember me being a tall, slim 22 year old, now converted to a crooked, fat old wreck.

    Any good ideas are thankfully received. The goal is minus 10 kilos....
    From Felisol

  8. Fitness Friday? What happened to Flabby Friday where all you did was eat unhealthy stuff and took long naps. We need to bring that holiday back.

  9. Sandy: I know you would get along great with Jamie.
    Beth: So glad you joined our fitness fanatics group. We can do this together.
    Debra: Yes, team effort always makes it easier.
    Elaine: I'm glad that you are exercising but you're absolutely right. It's also what we're eating that is also important.
    Kate: I'll bet that is fun to exercise with your little ones. And you're setting a great example too.
    Felisol: You hang in there girl! I know you can do it one step at a time. Just give yourself some time because it doesn't happen overnight. But know that you have support and encouragement right her.
    Rick: Thanks for visiting Heart Choices. You are too funny with your flabby Friday. But for too many us that's been the problem and we want to change that. I visited your blog and love your drawings; so creative and talented you are!

  10. Jamie is amazing. I love her scheduling approach. That must be key - time management and setting priorities.
    My adult family got together recently and went for a hike. It was pretty good. Being outside together and walking along. There were even times when we had to help each other - well, at least they had to help me. Anyway, where am I going with this, I don't exactly know, but it is nice to have the company of family (and I am sure, good friends), when one is exercising.

  11. Oh no . . . there might be another reason we met . . . for that prompting to do something with exercise. It's a major struggle - one main reason you will not find many pics of me on FB.
    Sighhhh . . . .


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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