by Nicki Philips

Children don’t let you get away with anything on your own, and that includes working out. Tell your kids about your exercise plan and it’s likely they’ll join in. Toddlers adore playing and smaller children are intrigued by any kind of physical movement because they’re usually better at it than you are. Even a bored teen can get excited by yoga, a run or a bit of stretching if it looks like fun, which it normally is. In summer with access to the outdoors, children can usually tear themselves away from their phones long enough for a 20-minute run with you. Or you can ask them for help with certain exercises, because getting a second opinion always helps. You can ask about alignment or have them run a stopwatch.


Everyone needs encouragement when they are feeling pressured for time, a little on the tired side or not in the mood. Show them what each exercise is meant to do, and what body part it benefits. As well as getting support from your children for your own workouts, you will be teaching them great habits of consistent activity and developing a positive mindset for combating adversity. They may well not realise the importance of this habit, but you do.


Ideas for working out might be to increase overall activity with your family by making movement a desirable thing. Pre or post-dinner walks are a good way to start, but you might want to consider asking the musician in the family to score some tunes for your workout, whether they write something original or mix your favourite tracks. You can also suggest one night a week for everyone to play a game or sport that one member of the family likes best, and take it in rotation. Charity runs and walks are also popular because they help other people and are great social events for both you and your children. If you really want to go hardcore, dog walking and gardening can also be made a fun family event, just remember to make it seem optional… of course, exercise is mandatory but you needn’t let on.

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Nicki Philips is a qualified Pilates, TRX & Barre coach. After 10 years coaching and gathering her credentials she has developed her own training programme, Niix Method, that fuses the best of Pilates with cardio exercises into curated classes lasting 10-30 minutes a day, 4 days a week. Nicki believes that all women should feel strong, fit and confident despite our the ever-changing bodies and busy lives.  Great results come from creating sustainable, health & fitness habits incorporating good technique. While running her own business, Nicki is also a busy mother of two girls, a step-son, and a sausage dog.

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