Summer workout series



Are you kids complaining that they’re bored yet? Well, take them outside for a wonderful adventure.

We are so fortunate to live in the Northwest, where there are numerous hikes at Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood or along the Columbia River Gorge. If you want to stay closer to home, Lewisville Park the Lacamas Lake area and Portland’s Forest Park offer wonderful options for you and the kids to explore.

I also get my kids involved in my workouts. My 11-year-old daughter and my 5-year-old son will ride their bikes as I run. Or we’ll head to the park or track, and I’ll do laps around the kids while they play in the middle.

One thing I’ve found with kids is, that if you can invite and involve their friends, they all enjoy the experience so much more!

Here are some exercises you can do at the park while the kids play.

Wall Squats: Stand against a wall with your feet positioned away from the wall so that when you sit, your shin bone is perpendicular to the floor and your knees are positioned above your ankles. Slowly lower down until your knees are at 90 degrees. It should feel like you’re sitting in a chair. Hold for 10-60 seconds. This is a great thigh burn.

Row: Wrap an exercise tube (you can pick up at any sporting good or department store) around a pole and hold both handles in one hand. Pull the tube toward your shoulder, drawing your elbow back and into the middle of your back. Perform 8-20 reps each arm. This is a great exercise for your back and biceps.

Tube Trunk Rotation: Wrap an exercise tube around a pole at about mid-thigh height. Stand in front of the pole holding the tube in both hands standing far enough from the pole so there is tension on the tube. Keep your abdominals contracted and slowly pull the tube across your body as your trunk rotates. Perform 8-20 reps each side. This is a great exercise for your core.

If you have little kids, be sure you’ve got a baby jogger, back pack carrier and a bike trailer. This way you can get your workout in with your child and won’t have to worry about getting a sitter. Invest in the right tools, and you won’t have to worry about kids getting in the way of your workouts. Take care of yourself, and you’ll have enough energy for everything else. Plus you’ll be an awesome role model for your kids!

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc., is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver. She can be reached at or