Shape Up Together


And, for the rest of the week...

Thursday: Hit the gym
If one of you belongs to a gym, today is the day to take the other along. If neither of you belongs to a gym, pick one out nearby that offers a free introductory visit and go try it out. You don’t need to wear special clothes or look like a fashion model. You also don’t need to know how to work all that fancy exercise equipment. Find side-by-side exercise bikes or treadmills. Or see if there is an aerobics class going on. If you’re really serious about seeing if the gym life is for you, ask an instructor to show you how the weight machines work. Remember, ladies, an ideal fitness plan features both aerobic exercise to work the heart and lungs, as well as strength training.

Friday: Thirty-love
OK, OK, so you’re not Venus and Serena Williams. Grab a couple of rackets (or borrow some from friends or neighbors) and give tennis a try. Most cities have public tennis courts. Call to check the hours and to see if you need to reserve a court. Perhaps you know of a nearby park that always seems to have open courts. It’s not important to really play an official game of tennis. The point of this outing is to exercise. So start off by hitting the ball to each other. See how many times you can go before someone misses. It won’t take long and you’ll be drenched in sweat. But what a great workout!

Saturday: Take a hike, Mom!
The only catch is that daughter must go, too. Seriously, this is a great activity that will promote fitness and create some memorable time for each of you. Plan this outing earlier in the week. Select a favorite spot to hike or ask friends or neighbors for suggestions. Your local library or Parks and Recreation Department may also have literature on local hiking spots. Make sure you prepare by wearing layered clothing and bringing along food, water, sunscreen--and your cell phone if you have a tendency to get lost. Hiking shoes are helpful but any athletic shoe will work fine. Regular hiking is a terrific way to stay fit. Although you are walking, the terrain is usually rugged enough to allow you to work up a sweat--thus giving your heart a good workout. Hiking is also good for the soul. There is nothing like the quiet and beauty of nature to help us relax. Mom and daughter may find this is a good time to talk about “stuff.” I remember one hike my daughter, Kristy, and I took at Yosemite. We didn’t realize how far we’d have to go to reach the summit of a rocky cliff until we were about halfway there. We were exhilarated when we reached the top!


Sunday: Surf’s up
Well, okay, maybe the surf isn’t up if you live in Oklahoma or some landlocked state. Nevertheless, it’s not too hard to find a body of water somewhere. It can be a pool, lake or ocean. Your job is to find it. Once there, Mom and Daughter should think fitness. Try taking your favorite CDs and do water aerobics. Take turns thinking up water exercises. Another fitness option is swimming laps. Go ahead and challenge Mom to a race. After 20 minutes of exercises, take the rest of your time to loll in the water and relax. You’ve earned it after a week of fitness pursuits.

• Find out how parents are Promoters of Healthy Habits
Take Your Mom Online: Moms and Teens Connect

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