At a certain point, and after years of fresh flowers, silk scarves, warm sweaters, spa treatments, lovingly-prepared brunches and the like, who doesn’t scramble to find the one perfect gift we haven’t given mom? With fitness high on most people’s agendas, why not make the next present the time you give her (and yourself!) the gift of movement, good health, and valuable together time!
Get Fit With Mom
Experts say in getting healthy and fit, the buddy system often works best. It’s hard to opt out of a weekend hike or spin class when someone sends you three text messages about picking her up on time! In fact a gym membership-a-deux is the perfect way to melt those pounds and strengthen those bonds, and some facilities offer discounts if you sign up with a friend or relative.
For Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania resident Lori Allen, 39, and her mother, Barbara Yates, 62, years of raising families and working long hours in the public school system resulted in their being less than stellar examples of the fit role models they wanted to be for their students.
“We worked at the same school but hardly ever had time to just ‘hang out,’ take care of ourselves, and not have it be all about lesson plans, assemblies, and parent/teacher meetings,” Lori says.
For gifts, the two women decided to buy each other gym memberships where, following some initial instruction from a trainer, they could weight train together, share some cardio classes, and make a date for the juice bar afterwards. “We made a commitment to do it three times a week,” Barbara says, “and most of the time we stick to it.”
“We got to know one another all over again in meeting these fitness challenges — definitely together,” Lori affirms.
No Gym? Get Fit Outdoors
Love being outdoors? Why not kick off the spring season with a mother-daughter hike on a favorite trail? Emily Kinders, 28, and mom Elizabeth Hennessey, 54, of Golden, Colorado, did just that when Emily surprised her mother with a pair of hiking boots. Living amidst legendary pristine mountains and wilderness, the Kinders claim they’d simply gotten used to their surroundings and because of their hectic lives, rarely thought of availing themselves.
“We made a date to meet every weekend for a brisk, fun, together time trail workout,” says Emily, who just had her second child. “When the kids are old enough, they’ll get a pair of hiking boots too!”
For Jane and Trisha Monahan, taking a series of yoga classes together had been a goal for several years when daughter Jane was introduced to the practice through a friend. According to Jane, 39, there was no better time to enroll her mother in the healthy lifestyle inherent in a consistent yoga practice than at gift giving time for mom.
“I want her around for a long, long time,” Jane says of her 60-year-old mother, adding that despite their busy lives they have always been close. “And there’s no better way to celebrate mom than to make sure we spend our time together having fun and staying healthy in the process.”
If mom loves the water, a pool membership and some regular break-of-dawn backstroking together might just wake the two of you up, with time left over to get to work. Even a simple twice-weekly date (be sure to keep it!) for a long walk around your favorite neighborhoods, or through an urban park or cityscape, can serve double duty as it keeps you both fit and strengthens that special mother-daughter bond.
Whatever form of ongoing activity you choose, as the saying goes, it really is the gift that keeps on giving. The two of you get to stay healthy and close for many years to come!