by Renee Ross | November 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm | comments

As the air turns a tad bit cooler here in Atlanta I am happily renewing our family’s commitment to outdoor family exercise. Atlanta is most commonly referred to as “HOTlanta” and with good reason! During the summer we average in the 90’s on a daily basis and although last year I trained for a half-marathon during the heat, it was not pretty. And it certainly was not conducive to having my four-year-old son run around too much. Our summer outdoor activities were primarily comprised of playing in the sprinkler and in the pool. As much as I enjoyed frolicking in the water with him, the date of my next half-marathon is rapidly approaching and I need to incorporate running into my fitness routine.

I’ve recommitted myself to training as well, and this means that I have to creatively find a way to include my son in the process. At four he is now able to ride his bike with training wheels so in the brisk Fall weather we can exercise together – I’ll run and he will ride. Of course, I have no illusions that our joint activity will be my best training sessions, but it’s fun for us to get out and about together. He enjoys his Spiderman bike and keeping up with mommy and I get a run in without too much complaining. Our run/rides will be relatively brief, but just 30 minutes will be good enough for me to get my heart pumping, keep me in shape and get him moving too!

When my son is older I foresee us running together. Last year after I ran the annual Turkey Trot 10K he ran the kiddie race (while holding my hand). It was only 50 yards, but he proudly wore his first race medal and still wears it around the house to this day! Exercising together helps him understand that exercise is a routine that is fun and not a chore. By modeling this behavior, I am helping my child achieve a lifetime of health.

What’s your favorite family activity that gets the blood flowing? Share in the comments below!

A self-confessed social media junkie, Renee leverages the power of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of important social and health-related causes. Over the last year, Renée has lost over 50 pounds and utilized social media to document her journey.