Tuesday, June 18, 2013

9:58 PM
When everyone is doing at maximum capacity it is hard to fit life, work, exercise and time with your family and friends into a single week, not to mention day. That is where the beauty of MommyTasking comes in, and by that I mean, finding ways of doing multiple life things at once, and making them quality, as well as efficient, experiences.

A perfect example of MommyTasking is figuring out a way to have quality time with your family, while also fitting in your workout. I have talked a lot about this in previous posts (for example, The Best Summer Workouts for the Whole Family), and want to expand on that theme here by focusing on three fitness classes that are super fun to do as a whole family: Martial Arts, Zumba, and Yoga. I was assisted in preparing this post by a woman who is a friend, mother of two, and owner of an award-winning cupcake shop - best job ever!

Family Martial Arts (Guest Post)
I have been practicing Tae Kwon Do, a Korean martial art, with my 5 and 8 years old boys for the past year. I can't let them have all the fun, plus I need to defend myself from them.

Joking aside, I love all the benefits of practicing as a family:  I am actually in the same class practicing and sweating with my boys instead of sitting on the sidelines, playing with my phone and waiting for them to be done. Also, while we are each pushing to excel as individuals, during family class we practice as a team and not against each other. The added bonus is that I don't have to drive to three places to fit in all of our physical activities.

The boys love it when they are paired  with me because it is their chance to learn how to throw their mom down...assuming I am nice enough to allow them :)  Since my oldest and I are at about the same level, he thinks it is so cool that for once, I need to learn all the same things as he does and that I don't know more than him.  On occasion, the boys even have to help me because I don't know my forms as well as they do (I like to think that it is because they attend their individual belt/age level classes more often than I do and not that my brain capacity cannot absorb any more information).  They get such a kick (no pun intended) that they have to help mom out.

I won't go into the obvious benefit of the improved self esteem because I believe any child can improve their self esteem through a sport that they love.  We happen to choose Ta Kwon Do because, not only does it allowed us to practice as a family, but the art allows each one of us to compete with ourselves in improving, rather than with each other.

Family Zumba
Mom and Baby Zumba
Shakin' It

Twice in the last two months, I have taken a Zumba class with my kids - one at our gym, and one at my daughter's 5th birthday party. The experience has been joyful and silly and sweaty and so much fun! The Zumba motto is "Ditch the Workout - Join the Party" and there is something about the rhythmic music, the full-body dance moves, and the infectious enthusiasm of the teachers and other dancers that has kept me smiling and shakin' my money maker with my kids the entire time. I love to dance - the freedom and energy of it - and it is something I miss in my busy, grown up life. Sure, we have dance parties around the house often, but I rarely go out dancing anymore, except for weddings. So being able to feel the music a little bit and let loose with the kids is amazing, especially since they still think mom dancing is fun and wonderful, not totally embarrassing

Family Yoga
Partner Tree Pose
As seen in (Family Yoga): My favorite local yoga studio offers a 45-minute Family Yoga class on Saturday mornings. The class is so much fun and perfect for cold or rainy days when outdoor activities are going to be a challenge. The class includes kid-friendly yoga poses, singing, games, partner yoga, and my personal favorite: a foot massage given to me by my child while I lay in savasana with a scented pillow over my eyes. Family Yoga is usually pretty goofy, nominally relaxing, and more often than not, completely endearing. It can also be a fairly good workout because you generally have at least one kid hanging off you while you do warrior lunges, or climbing on you while you do plank pose. I encourage you to try it, especially the part where you lie in corpse pose and your kid massages your feet.

Many Martial Arts, Dance, and Yoga studios offer family classes - and most offer free trials. Any of these, or similar options can get your entire family out of your box, and allow you as individuals and as a whole family to find new dimensions to your relationship and enjoy new experiences. The family that plays together stays together :)

Please contact me at mommytasker@gmail.com, MommyTasker.com, or connect with me on Facebook. 


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