Exercise + Family = FUN!

family walking

A family that plays together… well, they have fun together.

A family that exercises together…well, they are healthier together.

So, it stands to reason that a family that plays and exercises together… well, they’ll have fun and be healthier together! ☺

My family loves to play tennis, run, walk and dance. Last Christmas, we had a family reunion and held a 5K family fun run in our neighborhood followed by a family tennis tournament on our community court. Trophies were even given away to the top female and male finishers in each event. Several nights, we fired up our Wii and spent hours taking turns with our Just Dance games. Fun was definitely had by all!

family run day

This past weekend, I ran the Rock n Roll Philadelphia half marathon.

rock n roll philly

It was my first time visiting Philly and let me just say I loved the city! More importantly, I loved the opportunity to spend a fun, healthy weekend with family and close friends. Our group had people flying in from Florida, California and Las Vegas, plus one who drove from DC and another from the Philly area. It was a memorable weekend with close friends, a sister, a niece and a daughter—all of us enjoying the blessing of time together.

rocky pic

Whether it’s a walk in your neighborhood park, playing a sport like tennis, or participating in an organized event like a Rock n Roll race, the main thing is to stay active and have fun. Keep your family movin’ and groovin’ and getting their heart rates up. ☺

So, what do you and your family do for exercise and fun?

Young at Heart

trampoline time

Having and raising kids can give you gray hair, make you gain weight, and lose a ton of sleep. On the flip side, having kids has also kept me young at heart—which, in my humble opinion, overshadows or outshines all the aforementioned negatives.

Even though my girls are in college and post-college adult life, I’m blessed with a 10-year old niece and a 12-year old nephew who spend the summer with my parents and me. This means my summer is filled with dolls, video games, Disney Channel, bike rides, kid movies at the theater and—for the first time in my life—a trampoline park.

If you follow me on Instagram or twitter you probably already saw the pics of my niece, nephew, close friend and me at a Skyzone trampoline park this past weekend. I’m a big Groupon and Living Social shopper and when I saw a deal for 90 minutes of trampoline time a couple of weeks ago, my first thought was, “Oh, my kids will love this!” Quickly followed by, “Wait, I’ll love this!” ☺

sky2 copy

Let me tell you, 90 minutes is a looooong time. Especially when you’re using muscles you normally don’t. And even more so when you forget your age ‘cuz you’re feeling like a kid again—bouncing off side walls, leap frogging across 8 trampolines, pushing yourself higher ‘cuz you think you can actually do a flip in the air. Talk about a new way to get some exercise!

We all jumped like silly fools. The kids played trampoline dodgeball. No, I didn’t go for that, I was too busy acting like Spiderman throwing myself against the trampoline wall trying to stick for a second or two before careening back toward the trampoline floor.

Needless to say, we were all hot, sweaty messes by the end of our allotted time. But we were hot, sweaty, giggly, happy messes. Fun was had by all!

For a brief time I forgot my real age and enjoyed being a kid again. All thanks to my desire to help my own kids have fun.

Of course, when I woke up the next morning with sore calves and an achy lower back, my age caught up with me. I moaned for a second, then laughed when I found out my nephew was sore, too. ☺

Another happy memory created together—stretching out our soreness from our time jumping through the air, laughing at our silliness.

So sure, I’ll take the occasional gray hair and sleepless night because I’m a worrier. But I’ll treasure the moments when my kids allow me to act their age rather than my own. ☺

What about you? Have you tried anything new lately that made you feel young again—wild and crazy and like you could take on the world? If not, I suggest you see if there’s a Skyzone or something similar near you!

young at heart

The Big 4-0

vision page in my health planner

vision page in my health planner

So it’s almost March which means we’re getting pretty close to May which is when I become an official adult. I realize I’ve technically been an adult for years, but 40 just seems adult in a big way.

Needless to say when January hit and I recognized this was the big year I decided it was time to make some significant changed. I’ve put us on a budget, it’s time to pay off some debt. I’ve been working pretty diligently at my health – trying to eat right and exercise. I get it right some, but I’m still a work in progress.

I’m trying to simplify our lives to some extent – putting the girls on a toy rotation (for another blog), cleaning out closets and getting rid of a ton of stuff. In other words, I’m trying to take control and be responsible and all that adult-like behavior.

How about you? Have you ever made any big changes before a significant birthday? 


I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. The Professor and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is a three and is too smart for her own good.  www.robyndehart.com

Exercise: it does a body, mind and soul good!

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Okay, so I’m sure we’ve all heard something similar to the title of this blog at some point in our lives. Either a friend’s told us, or we’ve read a magazine article about it, or maybe even our family doctor has shared this sage advice.

 

We know the physical benefits of exercising—improve heart health, increase muscle strength, ward off disease, etc. But we often forget the mental benefits of exercising.

 

For me, going out for a run is usually a great way to unwind. It allows me time away from other distractions to think, or to plug into my music and let the worries slip away. I come home tired, yet energized. My mood is lifted. I feel empowered. I feel stronger—mentally and physically.

 

As a mom who’s been called “other-focused”, I admit that I have a tendency to take care of others before myself. Trying my best to ensure that others have what they need.

 

Just the other day someone tried to explain why it’s important for me to make sure I have what I need emotionally and physically, too. 

 

She said:

“It’s good for your health and well-being.”

“No one else will take care of you as well as you should take care of yourself.”

“It’s good for you to model for you daughters that taking care of yourself is important.”

 

My friend and I both chuckled when I admitted that if there’s one thing that would motivate me to do my best to be healthy, it’s that last reason she gave. I’ll do almost anything if it’ll benefit my girls. Of course, my friend smirked a little as she reminded me that with “other-focused” people, explaining how their actions might benefit someone else can be the best motivator.  🙂

 

So, this past weekend, I took some time for myself. Sure, it’s a little easier for me since I’m a single mom and my girls are all out of the house now. But my schedule is so jam-packed, I almost backed out of the weekend. Nearly convinced myself I had too much to do. Too many projects at work and at home to warrant going away for a long weekend.  But ultimately, I hit the road and the ocean.

 

I made the drive to Ft. Myers, Florida from my current home town, hopped the Key West Express ferry shuttle, and sailed to my old home town to run the Key West half marathon.

 

Mind you, I hadn’t trained since I spontaneously decided to register for the race less than a month ago when an old high school friend let me know she was running. Hence one of the arguments I tried to use during my “should I-shouldn’t I go” debate—13.1 miles without training, are you crazy?

 

But I challenged myself to compete, justifying it as a chance to set my benchmark for 2014. Let this race time be a starting time for 2014, with my goal being to improve by the end of the year. Just like I’ve set a 2014 goal to improve in other areas of life.

 

And guess what, not only did I finish, but I finished in one of my best race times ever! Granted, it wasn’t a personal record and I did finish a little less than an hour after the #1 female racer, but my time of 2 hours, 19 minutes, 43 seconds was definitely respectable. In my eyes anyway.

 

I finished that race much like I finish a regular run—feeling energized, empowered and stronger. What better example can I set for my daughters? What better example can I set for myself?

 

Two days earlier my girlfriend had met me at the ferry landing holding up a sign that read: Priscilla Awesome Runner.  We had laughed together as we hugged hello. Post-race, we grinned as she bragged about how prophetic her sign had proven to be.

 

Awesome Runner isn’t a bad title to have. For me though, it’s more important to be Awesome Mom or Awesome Person. Regular exercise, staying healthy allows me to constantly strive for both.

 

What about you? Is running your go-to exercise? Or what do you regularly do to help your physical and mental well-being?