Mommy Interview: Kathy Kaehler

The Hanes team contacted us to see if we would be interested in interviewing some of their moms from their spokesperson team. They have created a fun resource for parents and picked some amazing parents to represent their brand.

Kathy Kaehler, mom, celebrity trainer, author and spokesperson has devoted her life to helping people live happy, productive and healthy lives. Beyond imparting the latest in fitness workouts, this lifestyle expert has tackled such subjects as multi-tasking, stress management, nutrition, how to get a good night’s sleep and how to get kids of the couch and onto their feet.

As a mother of eleven year old twins and a seven year old (all boys!), Kaehler is committed to keeping her kids and all children fit. Kathy shares a few tips for how to get our kids off of the couch… and ourselves!

We are all trying to raise healthy children, but it is evident that we are falling short when it comes to exercise. How much physical activity should our children be getting each day?

I think our kids need to be doing something physical everyday for 30-60 minutes a day. It does not have to be all at once but if you break up that time into ten minute romps it really adds up. Kids don’t mind exercise as long as it’s fun! Don’t just sign your kid up for a class or a sport – find out what they really enjoy. It’s important to keep in mind that fitness isn’t always what we think of in the traditional sense – Frisbee, mini golf, bowling – these are all ways to get different parts of your kids’ bodies moving! You can find some of my ideas on of fun activities you can do with your kids, such as going for an adventure hike in the backyard or at the local park (don’t forget to pack healthy snacks and water); throwing a ball or water balloons at a target; creating a music mix for a dance party. Play with your kids and show them how fun it is to be active!

For families that suffer through long winters or are not able to get outside as often, what are some fun indoor activities that you can do with your children?

There are many things that you can do inside while the weather is cold, but don’t forget kids love to get out and play in snow and rain. Just make sure they are bundled up. For indoor fun try family challenges like one minute of jumping jacks, walking up and down the stairs, try to see many rooms can you walk in and out of in one minute, etc. “Balloon Flight” is a great game that I get my kids to play. Blow up a med size balloon and the object is to not let the balloon touch the ground and you can’t touch the balloon twice in a row. Lots of laughter and action with this one! Create a whole schedule of activities around the house and you and the kids will be surprised how fast time will fly by.

At what age should you begin exercising with your child?

The most important thing to remember is that we parents are the best role models at creating an active environment for our kids and this can never start too early. I showed my kids how to start using their muscles as soon as they started to walk. Even in the stroller you can begin to tell them that you are exercising and that they are helping you. I also began asking my boys at an early age what they did that day that helped their bodies – whether it was eating their vegetables, walking the dog, etc. The kids would think about it all day and couldn’t wait to tell me (and show up their brothers) later that night. I found that this type of thinking helped create a foundation for an active lifestyle that will hopefully stay with them for years to come.

With video games and television taking our children away from healthy activity, what are some ways that parents can make exercise as appealing to them as these things seem to be?

First off, make sure your kids are comfortable when they’re out and about! My guys will only wear tagless tees from Hanes – they can’t stand the itching and chafing from tags when they’re running around – and they practically live in Hanes’ super soft hoodies. If your kids are in comfortable gear, they’ll play longer. If they’re not, they’ll just come right back and plop on the comfy couch.

Encourage your kids to be happy and have fun. As I mentioned before, kids don’t mind exercise as long as they’re having a good time. Instead of forcing a sport or activity on your child, take the time to figure out what he or she enjoys doing. This can be bowling, ultimate Frisbee, jazz class or in the more traditional sense, soccer, tennis, lacrosse. If kids start off with a positive attitude towards their chosen form of exercise, there is a better chance they’ll stick with it.

If you can’t win over the video games, and chances are you will lose this battle at some point, at least make them play active ones. They really can be a workout!

Last resort: you can also bribe. I know how that sounds, but in my house, and probably in most houses, we have to compromise and some things are trade offs. It’s reality that kids want to play video games and watch TV. If the kids say they have to play a game or have to watch this show, then they have to go out on the trampoline and jump so many times beforehand.

As busy moms, how can we make exercise a priority in our schedule? How often should we be exercising?

We need to be exercising most days of the week. In order to be on top of everything going on in the house, you have to feel good about yourself and the best way to do that is to get in a workout. You will be a happier mom, more organized and have the energy to do it all. This doesn’t mean you need to be at the gym every day of the week. You can take a class, and you can also take dog to the park or go on a walk with your girlfriends. I also suggest my “Take Five” workout. Every morning and every night take just five minutes to do some jumping jacks, squats and/or side-to-side hops. These five minute blasts will get your heart rate and energy level up and it’s only ten minutes a day!

What can moms do when they get stuck in an exercising rut?

My advice is to sit down to think about new goals and map out your plan of attack. Remember to be realistic in what your schedule and body can take when creating these new goals. I also suggest getting your mom, or friends or co-worker on board to help you stay motivated and explore different ways to stay in shape – whether it’s a walk for a charity one weekend, training for a mini marathon, going on a bike ride or taking some tennis lessons. Mixing it up and changing your surroundings when working out will keep you from getting bored or stuck.

Sound Off: Do you engage in exercise regularly? How do you make this a priority for your children?

Published April 30, 2008 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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