During our life-skills classes for parents & teens, we are often asked how families can maintain excellent physical fitness & stay in shape when life gets busy?
Below are a few of our favorite best-practices that successful leaders have used in the areas of nutrition & fitness- they are not from trained nutritionists or exercise physiologists, but rather everyday people like us who have made health and physical fitness a priority for them and their family, and they have used these ideas & tips successfully in their lives. As always, consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise or dietary plan for you or your kids.


  • Our family loves competing as teams in 30 minute workouts. Sometimes other kids or families join us as well.
    • We write the ‘exercises + number of reps’ across the top of a dry-erase board & then write each person’s name vertically down the left hand side (color-coded in pairs to represent teams of 2) & draw grid lines. Each time someone completes an exercise, they check that box…when time’s up, add up the ‘check-marks’ each team got to see who wins!
  • Picture4Read the book “Eat this, not that.”… It shines a shocking light on menu items from America’s favorite restaurants & helps you identify which ones are truly healthy options & which ones aren’t.
    • If you assume that most men and women need somewhere in the 2,000-2,500 calories per day range, with a maximum of 30% of these calories coming from fat (i.e. this translates to a maximum of 67-83 grams of fat per day).
    • The book gives some shocking examples (note that the calories & fat do not include any drink, appetizer, or dessert…fries can easily add +500 calories and +20 grams of fat; some desserts can top 1,200 calories and 85 grams of fat!):
      • ‘Chicken & Spinach Salad’ that have 1,600 calories and 118 grams of fat!
      • ‘Grilled Chicken & Avocado Club Sandwich’ with 1,750 calories!
      • Our research of restaurant’s online nutritional information shows some entrees at over 2,500 calories! Often, just because it sounds healthy, doesn’t mean that it is, so you have to do your research before you choose foods at grocery stores or restaurants…e.g. smoothies can have nearly 1,000 calories & close to 200 grams of sugars…that’s more sugar than 6 candy bars!
  • Picture1To supplement my weekly cardio, two buddies & I work out twice a week (& sometimes our kids and/or wives join us)…
    • Our favorite workout takes about 40 minutes & includes 30 different exercises (e.g. Push-ups, ab crunches, air squats, calf raises, runs down the block & back, dumbbell curls, tricep extensions, chest flys, spin bike, rowing machine, shoulder press, pull-ups, dips, & lunges). It’s fun to compete with each other (but we can each go at our own pace, weights, etc.).
  • Find an activity or two that your wife enjoys & do it together as often as possible- this enables you to exercise while spending time together.

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