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The Family that Exercises Together . . .

The Family that Exercises Together . . .

“Daddy, my legs are getting rusty.”

It’s been years since our youngest son said those words but it still makes me smile whenever I think of them. As summer approached that year, the two couch potatoes at our house and our three little spuds had decided to add an evening walk to our routine.

Most families are busy. We juggle a wide variety of things in our schedules and it often takes someone persistent who will keep pushing (yes, nag!) everyone to get started. Some people in my family (not naming any names) might have grumbled a bit—maybe even claimed a new love afair with cleaning the kitchen, but we finally set out on that first walk . . . and the second . . . and the third.

Those late spring evenings were so nice. Perfect for walking—especially for an out-of-shape mom. But you know what? I made some important discoveries that summer as we laced our tennis shoes and set off down our country road:

  • The exercise was good for all of us. Our kids are often occupied with video games, television, computers, phones, and other activities where they don’t move. We started out with a short walk and gradually increased our distance. With the whole family involved, it guaranteed that we would get some healthy exercise in each day—and that exercise made all of us feel better.
  • That time together was relaxing. Getting out of our normal “go-go-go” routine was refreshing. The different pace was good for all of us.
  • We enjoyed God’s creation instead of just zooming by everything. It’s impossible to appreciate the detail of a flower or the intricacy of the bark on the trees while zipping by in the car. It gave our family a chance to talk about the magnificence of what God’s created.
  • It became something we all looked forward to each night. We talked. Really talked. Without distractions. The boys shared about their day. They talked about their friends and the funny things that happened at school.
  • We bonded—and we made precious memories. Our family was closer at the end of that summer, and I know those moments left sweet snapshots in my heart . . . including the night we trudged up the steep hill near the end of our walk and our tired littlest guy looked up at his daddy and said, “Will you carry me? My legs are getting rusty.”

This summer would be a great time to start your family fitness program. I can promise that someday you’ll look back on those times together and they’ll bring a smile to your face.

By: Michelle Cox is the creator/developer of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting resources and products. Her novel, Just 18 Summers (co-authored with Rene Gutteridge), is available now. Michelle would love to speak at your event! Visit her at, on Facebook at and, and on Twitter @michelleinspire.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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