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Exercising Values

Happy, Healthy, Kind, & Considerate Kids

Family Fitness During the Olympics

exercise family family life fitness inspiration sports Feb 12, 2010

Here's an idea from my family to yours. This is an excerpt from the book, Exercising Values. Give it a try. My kids are teenage and beyond but they still enjoy participating in this tradition we established when they were young.

When my oldest children were still very small we started a tradition that we still do today. This is despite the fact that four of my six children are now old enough to vote. Since our family loves to follow the Olympics and I knew that that would involve a lot of sitting around watching television; I wanted a way to balance that with activity so we instituted the Olympic Challenge.

Every Olympics, from the time the torch is lit at the opening ceremony until it is extinguished at the closing ceremony, our family competes to see who can do the most push-ups, jumps with a jump rope, and some agreed upon abdominal exercise. Some years, as they have grown older, we have also added miles run. We award gold, silver, and bronze in these individual events as well as an all-around award. We post our daily progress on the refrigerator so you always know where you stand. Those standings have motivated many a late night push-up that otherwise would never have occurred. Often I was the one doing them late at night trying to keep up with a seven year old or a teenager.

So the take home message is: fitness with your family is fun. A little friendly competition can be motivating from time to time especially when your children have a chance to win. Copy this idea or find your own excuse for a fitness celebration. Occasionally, no matter how great the program, doing things a bit differently for a time will give you a break. The coverage of the Olympics usually features stories about how various athletes overcame obstacles. Incorporate these into your character lessons.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. If you need more ideas for building character and fitness into your children's lives pick up your own copy of the book, Exercising Values from this website.

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About the Author

Pamela Davenport


For decades I have helped countless parents and their children overcome significant obstacles. My unique accomplishments in the fields of child development, health, and fitness have given me an unparalleled perspective and expertise that I would love to share with you.

  • Award-Winning Author and Parenting Coach
  • Mother of six and grandmother of five
  • Studied Juvenile Justice at Stanford University
  • Master’s degree in Social Work
  • Experienced family counselor
  • Support group leader for struggling parents
  • Taught health at the university level
  • Program manager for the personal training programs at two colleges
  • Personal Trainer helping people lose 5lb-100lb+
  • Two-time Ironman Triathlete and competing member of team USA
  •  UMB Lifetime Sportswoman Award 2017