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Fitness and Family

Mother-Daughter Workouts

You shop together, you cook together, you swap books. But how about working out together? Exercise is another means for mothers and daughters to be close. There are lots of fitness activities that work for women of all ages. It's a neat way to strengthen your bond while you strengthen your bodies.

Gym Dates

When she was fresh out of college and living at home with her parents in Troy, Michigan, Karishma Guha used to go to the gym three times a week with her mother.

"She would walk on the treadmill and flamboyantly move her arms in some outdated aerobic exercise," she recalls. "I would run on the treadmill next to her and then do free weights."

Guha, who is now married and in nursing school on the East Coast, says back then she and her mom were so busy that working out was the one thing that they did together. She confesses that she finds her mom hard to talk to, so it was a great way for them to be together without having to have a conversation.

"I miss it," says Guha. "We would relax and joke and we never had to talk about anything heavy."

Dive In

Swimming is another great mother-daughter work out. Just about any woman -- be she pregnant, overweight, elderly or recovering from an injury -- can dive in the pool and benefit from this non-impact sport. The buoyancy of water reduces your ''weight'' by about 90 percent and the stress on your weight-bearing joints, bones and muscles by the same measure.

"Whenever my mom and I visit, we always go swimming. It's a serene time for us away from the rest of the family. In the changing room, we talk about make up, swap shampoos, girly stuff like that," says FoodFit contributing writer Leila Corcoran.

Her mom suffers from back pain and is limited in what she can do exercise-wise, but swimming works for both of them. "We swim at our own pace, I usually spend more time in the pool and my mom takes an extra long shower."

Move Together

Mother and daughter Margaret and Teresa Ahmann both say they get a lot out of taking Tai Chi together, a Chinese mind and body exercise that involves learning a series of physical movements.

"It's another point of contact that has nothing to do with grandchildren but is about the two of us trying to take care of ourselves," says mom Margaret, 74. "It's nice for a mother to know that her daughter would enjoy spending time together doing this kind of activity. "

"Doing exercise with her is very rich," adds daughter Teresa, 44. "We share back and forth and help each other out."

Yoga

Yoga can help mother and child improve their flexibility and strength. It's incredibly calming. And it's suited to young and old. New mom Claire Haas, who lives in Pacific Palisades, California, has been taking her baby Zachary to an "itsy bitsy yoga" class since he was eight weeks old.

"It's not a super workout but it is a good way to interact with other moms," she says. As for the little one, "He's involved in it for 30 minutes but gets sleepy after that. That's one of the great things about the class, it teaches you how to exercise your baby."

 

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