Introducing Your Family to Mind/Body Exercise

Kids Yoga: Striking the Tree Pose

This happens a lot at my studio: a wife comes in, falls in love with Pilates, and a short time later a not-so-thrilled-to-be-there husband shows up and takes a few classes at his wife's insistence.  You know those are the good marriages by the way; you've gotta love your spouse to try something that really doesn't appeal to you. Most of the time the husbands stay; they realize that Pilates has lots of advantages and helps them with their other sports and training.  Every major league sport has teams that incorporate Pilates into their training programs.  It is definitely not just a "girlie" exercise. But there's probably a better way to get your family involved in mind/body exercise than just cajoling and nagging them into it. Here are some ideas to encourage mind/body workouts: For kids. Mommy and Me Yoga when your child is an infant is easy.  Your child will grow up being used to "Oms" and stretches and they'll think it's fun.  For older kids, you can just roll around on the floor with 'em.  Give them a few yoga options and they'll have a blast.  They love the names like "warrior pose" and "tree." For tweens/teens. They've probably got a sport that they're trying to improve in. Wait until they're taking a break from it (in between seasons maybe) and then tell them that yoga (or Pilates) will really help them improve, and that (insert famous athlete here) does it and loves it.  They might roll their eyes but you'll probably get them in the car.  Make sure you pick an instructor that's not too woo-woo or you'll lose them again.  But they'll feel a little muscle soreness the next day and they'll know this earthy-crunchy stuff has some muscle behind it. For husbands.  For Pilates, it's pretty easy; wait until their back is killing them and then book an appointment with your instructor.  Tell them you promise that they'll feel better immediately which i's usually enough to get them to see the light.  Another approach is if their game is starting to slip, no matter what the game, from tennis to 3-on-3 basketball, Pilates will help with range of motion, core strength, and accuracy of movement.  Just find another famous athlete and mention that so-and-so does it too.  Brownie points for finding an aging athlete extending his career such as Curt Schilling, former ace pitcher for the Red Sox, or Redskins lineman Ray Brown, who was still playing in the NFL at the age of 42 thanks to Pilates. You can also wait for a lazy weekend or a snow day, pop in a DVD and let everyone give it a go.  Feel free to bribe them with treats if you think it'll work.  For more information, check out the Sears Fit Club on Facebook.  You can ask questions there and get lots of feedback from experts. For most people, one mind/body workout per week is a great place to start.  If they really enjoy it you can move up to two or three times per week.  Keep gently introducing the idea and eventually your family will give it a try. Have you tried to introduce mind/body movement to your family?  How did it go?  Any good tricks to share? Enjoy your future sessions! Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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4 Responses to Introducing Your Family to Mind/Body Exercise

  1. Phil Earnhardt January 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Your advice about husbands is both sad and true: pain is one of the most effective teachers and motivators out there.

    What is the possibility for all of us to discover and thrive in body/mind exercise before debilitating pain drives us that way? When will we realize our global birthright to pain-free living?

  2. Lisa Johnson January 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Phil, I totally know what you mean. I’m no better, I found Pilates after a series of rear-end car collisions and a dislocated knee cap. I think we “stick with what we know” which tends to be traditional forms of medicine and exercise until those options don’t work anymore and then we start looking at the alternatives. The enlightened few who are raised that way (my son?) have a better shot than we did.

    Thanks for you comment :-)


  3. Women's emotional health February 26, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    Hi there! I just started doing yoga session’s everyday at home with my family and I just want to say it really helpful! I really enjoy doing them and it keeps me and my family stress away as well as makes me feel better throughout my day! Thanks

  4. Lisa Johnson February 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    Glad you like them and they’re working for you and your family. :-)

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