New mum Michelle Bridges shares her family fitness tips

Great podcasts for parents and carers

Thu 11 August 2016

14 mins

We caught up with one of Australia’s most loved movers - personal trainer and new mum, Michelle Bridges.

Michelle says that teaching kids about fitness, nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle is important for their wellbeing later in life. Being active in the local park, playing in the backyard and going for works are easy activities to do.  

“Children will remember those kinds of things - they won’t remember sitting around and watching TV,” says Michelle.

Michelle’s easy fitness tips are great for keeping the whole family fit (and you can make it competitive for added incentive!):

1. Weekly skipping competition

Hang a skipping rope on a hook in the kitchen, stick a small whiteboard or chalkboard on the fridge and write each person’s name on it.  

The competition: Do as many skips as you can without stopping. This has to be witnessed by another family member.

2. Body-weight exercises in the ad-breaks

If your family does watch a bit of television, make it active. Michelle’s tip: “Why not incorporate a little bit of activity into watching TV? And if you’ve got space in your lounge room, go for it!”

The competition: In the commercial breaks see who can plank or wall sit the longest. Or who can do the most sit-ups or push-ups!

3) Go for a walk after dinner

There’s no competition here and you can do this at any time of year. In fact, Michelle says that the beauty of this one is that active family time together stimulates new topics of conversation.

“It’s amazing what a family can talk about when they’re in that relaxed environment – not sitting around a table eyeballing each other, but rather just walking, looking out at the trees or the park or traffic lights.”

Michelle’s own fitness approach has changed since becoming a mum. Life is much busier with a 7 month old and her partner’s children on some weekends, too! She’s had to find inventive ways of incorporating movement into her hectic lifestyle.

These are some easy exercise tips for new mums:

1. Take everyone to the park with you

“If I can’t go for a run or get to the gym and do a formal training session, then I’m going to take everybody with me to the park and we’re going to have some fun!” says Michelle. Whether it’s catch, tag, soccer, or handstands, everyone’s involved.

“Even if I don’t get a formal training session, probably better than anything else is I’ll build fabulous memories with those kids.”

2. Babycarrier bodyweight circuit

“I put Axel in the Ergobaby carrier and we’ll walk to the park. I’ll do a circuit of 10 lunges, 20 squats, step ups and tricep dips. He’s loving it and I’m dying because I’m sweating up a storm, but it means that I’m doing a form of weight-training - he’s involved – we’re outside and it feels good.”

3. Go for a long walk with the baby in the pram

Simple, yet effective, is a tried and true walk. Michelle says, “Axel loves it and I feel like I’m doing something!” 

Whether you’re throwing a Frisbee, dancing to Kinderling’s Digital Disco or riding a bike like Cadel Evans, we’d love to see your family moving! Take a pic or video of your family in action and share on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #screenfreechallenge.

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