Kids and Fitness: We Need to Clear Some Things Up!

By on August 2, 2023

I’m all FOR encouraging healthy, natural, movement and play for kids. And for setting a great example, in that regard. You guys know this. 

But I feel like we need to straighten a few things up, here. There’s some very fanciful ideas of what this looks like floating around the internet!

Take the large number of people I’ve heard telling me that they “work out with their kids.” They enjoy being curled and squatted. What are parents moaning about?

This is true.

For about three minutes.

Yeah, Emmy loves being squatted. Unless she’s not in the mood. And she gets pretty board after the fourth rep. Also Alex will immediately want a turn. Then try and break out and launch himself onto the floor, screaming. 

If you’re telling me you get a whole workout in this way, I’m calling BS! 

Playing with your kids. Using the opportunity to be more active? That’s true and great. But a full workout? Hell no!

Meanwhile, I hear a lot of movement gurus telling me I should let my kids fall over so that they learn. Once they’ve fallen off the first step, they won’t think twice about climbing to the top!

Well, I think my kids must be defective, then. My son has yet to learn not to swing his head back in a rage despite having hurt himself doing that about 156 times. He falls off the sofa daily and yet will still nonchalantly walk off the edge tomorrow, mark my word.

Also: when my kids do fall over on the pavement, they usually end up with a mouth full of blood and gravel and whatever we’re doing comes to an immediate halt. There’s screaming and clawing… and that’s just me. Then we have to go home. 

And sometimes we have to go to hospital to get their head glued. That’s not an exaggeration. That’s happened. That was INDOORS. 

Oh yeah “let him fall over.” How about you fall over!

Emmy exploring

Encourage movement, yes. But a little bit of caution is no bad thing. 

Right now, I’m on day four of missing my workouts because my wife just recovered from a sickness bug only for my daughter to start hurling. I have a three-day killer headache, which I guess is related.  

Let’s not pretend like there’s an easy fix to staying fit while having kids. Let’s not present some ideal vision of kids who are perfectly healthy and help us workout. Having kids is wonderful but it’s also a bloody nightmare.

If you manage to maintain any level of fitness, you deserve a medal!


About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.


  1. alex says:

    Sorry its been a bad week for you. A family is the most real thing most men will ever build, but it sure can be hard work.

    I know what your saying, but the things about today is that many kids are prevented from moving as much as they ought by daycare and school. It could be said that the brain is designed to generate complex movement. Movement, making it a daily habit, is one of the best treatments a parent can do for a kid with Higher functioning Autism IMO. The earlier the better just like any childhood intervention.

    I know for a fact that AU cases have been going up for at least the last 20 years and in this years intake of small kids there was about 60% rise from last year- seen by someone known to me personally….these are LOW functioning.

    People would be terrified if they actually saw the change over the last 20 years.

    The Higher functioning kids MUST be made to move- ‘Wheel Barrow’ hand walking for core strength and body mapping (hand to each joint) as well as activities to intergrat the reflexes (martial arts are good) will all cause the brain to grown in ways that I have found to be helpful in my own experience. Its horrible how kids in daycare and school are so often kept from moving as much as is natural.

  2. Nathaniel Smith says:

    One of the top things I can recommend to someone about to have a child is get into the best shape you can before the baby arrives.

    I had my first child a little over a year ago. I was already a little out of shape for a variety of reasons, but mostly laziness combined with shut down gyms thanks to covid overreaction.

    I realized quickly how much better off I’d have been if I was in better shape, and I quickly got into much worse shape because I was too exhausted and easily injured. I’m only now beginning to get back into shape just a little, and it’s very hard to find the time. I think if I’d been in better shape from the start, I would have had more energy overall, and it would have been easier to maintain a reasonable level of fitness.

    I hadn’t done any working out for more than half a year, but I started doing yoga (following youtube videos) a couple months ago, which was very helpful for building up my flexibility and balance, but I wanted to move into more functional strength training. I only recently discovered your youtube videos, and I’m thinking of trying out your “thunctional 3” since it’s a pretty short workout. If I do, I’ll comment on that post and let you know how it goes.

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