Having a newborn really puts a lot of different things in perspective.  Upon the arrival of Tom, my husband and I began to think more seriously about our health.  We felt that it was more important than ever for us to be healthy and able – so we could enjoy a happy life with our son.  That got me thinking, what makes an active family?

At Au Pair Link, part of the process of signing up to be a Host Family is to write a “Host Family Letter”, where you describe your family life, routines and so forth.  If I had a dollar for every time a family described themselves as “active”…!  I sort of find myself imagining a family, Brady Bunch-esque, whizzing around a small lake with three kids out the back on waterskis (at the same time)… is that what they mean?

For us, having one eleven month old keeps us innately busy.  Our weekends are filled with family walks, going to the playgroup and running after our little Sausage as he explores the world.  But we began to think about how we, as parents, could continue to stay fit amidst all the action.  So, we made the dreaded decision and joined the gym.

Prior to joining up, my husband has never set a foot inside the four walls of a gym – so it was a big challenge to say the least!  We decided to go down the Personal Training route, the reason being that we both struggle to stay motivated and often priortise… hmm – anything – over our wellbeing.

Having Jason (our Personal Trainer) has made a world of difference to our lives and general wellbeing.  Jason tailors programmes that are suited to our individual strengths (and weaknesses) and also ensures our programmes are challenging and fun.  We started out doing separate sessions but as we progress through the weeks (and now, months) we decided to do joint sessions – and it has actually been a lot of fun!

I find I work harder and stay on task better when I have both James and Jason ‘keeping me honest’.  For me, being an active person has always been important but as the years as progressed and with an increasingly busy career and home life, I just stopped finding time for myself.

I hope that by staying active as parents we will set a good example for Tom and understands that he understands the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.  What really concerns me is the trend towards more unhealthy lifestyles and weight gain.  I am definitely of the mind that if the sun is out then kids should be out having fun together, keeping active and learning together.

So tell me, what do you do to keep your family active?  What do you value about this aspect of your lifestyle and what would life be like if you didn’t keep it up?

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Cecilia Robinson, founder of My Food Bag, and Au Pair Link, is one of New Zealand's most successful female CEOs. Cecilia's business awards include: 'Her Business Best New Business award' in 2009, 'Businesswoman of the Year 2012’, ‘Best SME 2012’ and 'Supreme Winner of the Woman of Influence Programme' in 2017.

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