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Parents are the bone on which children sharpen their teeth.

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The Parent Trap: Fitting in Time for Fitness

By Denise Michelle Nix

When most people think "exercise," they picture themselves spending an hour hitting P90X® or taking a long run on the beach. Busy parents, with schedules crammed full of carpooling, cooking and, often, work outside the home, find they can't even think of exercise seriously, let alone do it. Sure, once the kids are a little older or maybe on the weekend, but now? Today?

Mother and Daughter

Yes, today. Ideally, you'll make that time for yourself, but when it falls through the cracks, fitness and health experts agree that fitting fitness into parenting just takes a little creativity. "The hard part is parents really have to build the time in," said Eric Thompson, senior director of communications and marketing for the American Heart Association. "Being fit is all about habits—habits you form when you're younger that carry you through life."

However, experts agree, it's never too late to start those healthy habits. Here are ten ways busy parents can fit a little extra fitness into their lives:


Woman in Ballet Outfit Sweeping FloorYou've gotta cook. You've gotta clean. There are ways to squeeze in some love for your body, while doing those things you love to hate.

  1. Anybody can just push a vacuum around, but then that person's not getting the full benefits of this otherwise rueful activity. Instead, use deep knee bends while pushing the vacuum out, being sure to tighten and hold the abdominal muscles and buttocks, keeping your back straight. Be sure to switch the lunging leg every few pushes.

  2. How many hours a day does a parent spend standing before a sink of dirty dishes? Make better use of that time by working out your legs with side leg lifts. Begin on two feet, then lift one leg slowly out to the side until it reaches about a 45-degree angle. Hold it there for 5 seconds, using the thigh muscle to keep it aloft. Switch to the other foot. Repeat each leg 10 times.

  3. Young children means lots and lots of toys. Of course, we want them to clean up after themselves, but we know who really does most of the picking up. Carry a laundry basket or satchel around and bend both knees deep beside each toy to pick up. While squatting, keep your back straight and tighten your abs. Walking and squatting to each toy can quickly translate into dozens of toning squats.

  4. Finding workout tools in the kitchen is just as easy as finding cooking gadgets. Next time you find yourself still before a boiling pot of macaroni and cheese, grab a couple of cans from the pantry and do bicep curls. Grasping the can, leave your elbows still and bent at your side. Keep tension in your upper arm as you curl the can up. Repeat 10 curls on each arm.

With the kids

What does any kid want more than their parents' attention? Here are some ways to stay involved with your kids, get some exercise, and have some fun!

  1. Mother and Daughter ExercisingThere are some obvious things we can do with our children that are both healthy and fun; it's just we sometimes forget or, really, are just too lazy. Walking is often overlooked as an easy and convenient way to exercise, as we're all so quick to jump in our cars for every little errand. It may take more time to walk to the store, but the benefits are worth it. And what better way to burn some extra kid energy? Better yet, have your kids ride their bikes, scooters, or skateboards—and try to keep up!

  2. Everyone encourages their kids to get involved in team sports like soccer or baseball . . . but who says they should be the only ones exercising? While your kids are at practice, bring your iPod® and take laps around the field (just be sure to keep an eye on them and offer encouragement!). Not all sports need to be organized. Next time your kids are vying for some parent time, take them outside for a vigorous game of tag or soccer yourself.

  3. Don't use dreary weather as an excuse to keep you from moving about; there's plenty to do inside with your kid. Turn on the music and dance! Need some inspiration? Check out Shaun T's Fit Kids® Club or Get Real with Shaun T for families who like to groove. Also, Tony Horton's Tony & the Kids! DVD is a fun and wacky way for the whole family to get fit.


The long day of trudging through the grind is over, and who wouldn't be tempted to sink into a comfy couch, remote in hand, and just laze away into the night? But remember that every few minutes of exercise counts, so, sure, take a load off here and there to regroup. Just be sure to take breaks and get moving.

  1. Yoga Booty Ballet® Pure & Simple YogaCommercial breaks generally last about 2 minutes. Figuring there are five commercials in any given 1-hour show, that's 10 minutes of movement you can sneak in right there. Crunches, push-ups, and jumping jacks are classic exercises you can do just about anywhere at any time. And if you're watching back-to-back shows, squeeze in a 10-Minute Trainer® session during the break. But to make sure you don't miss one thrilling minute of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, warm up during the first show's commercial break and cool down during the second show.

  2. Yoga can be an excellent source of exercise, but it's also a great way to relax. And it just feels good to get those kinks out. If you don't know where to start, take a look at Yoga Booty Ballet's Pure & Simple Yoga or Pajama Time yoga workouts to awaken your mind and your body to the possibilities.

  3. There is no bigger time waster than waiting for a kid to brush his teeth or put on her pajamas. Use that time wisely. Instead of hanging around the bathroom sink listlessly, grasp on with your hands for some slow, deep squats. Work your abdomen at the same time by keeping those muscles tight. Remember to keep your back straight. Repeat 10 times.

Related Articles
"9 Healthy Gift Ideas for Mom"
"Diet, Exercise, and Your Kids' Grades"
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Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, November 23rd, at 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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New Seasonal Shakeology® Recipes!

In preparations for the upcoming holiday season, Beachbody's best and brightest Shakeologists blended some exciting new flavor combinations to create some brand-new seasonal Shakeology recipes! Check out Tuesday's BNN to find out which recipes made the list of “staff favorites.” Click here for the sneak peek!

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Click below for a sneak preview:

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, November 23rd, at 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Unsupportive Partners: 7 Ways to Placate Your Mate When They Don't Feel Great about You Losing Weight

By Stephanie Saunders

To have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in weight loss and muscle building; till death do us part. It is unlikely that these were your actual vows on your wedding day, but often the most difficult struggle a couple can face is when one member is considering a change, while the other prefers the status quo. That includes having kids, changing careers or homes, and, yes, getting into shape. You'd assume that the more attractive your partner becomes, the happier you would be, but this isn't always the case. Increased attractiveness can foster insecurity, jealousy, resentment, and in extreme cases, emotional withdrawal and sabotage.

Man and Woman Doing Push-Ups

When a significant other becomes more attractive, and as a result, receives more and more attention, it can make the other person insecure. And if everyone starts turning their heads, look out! That person may start to wonder, "Why is my partner seeking so much attention? Is something already going on? If I find them attractive as they are, why isn't that enough?" The answer is, of course, that we want to change to feel better about ourselves. Not that having heads turn as you enter the Christmas party is not a bonus, but it really is about meeting your own goals. And when the love of your life suddenly forgoes snuggling on the couch with Chinese takeout for a P90X workout, resentment can enter the picture.

So how do you continue toward your fitness goals without letting it affect the relationship you have with your partner?

Man and Woman TalkingBegin with communication. In the same way you should consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program, talk to your partner about what you are looking to accomplish. Explain that this is not motivated by a desire to attract other people, or anyone already in your life, but simply because you want to be healthier and feel better about yourself. Going into detail about your exercise plan and nutritional goals can take the unknown out of the equation, and possibly spark a desire in your mate. If you are still met with resentment, explain that you do not expect your partner to change just because you want to, and that you love him or her exactly as he or she is.

Ask for support. The road to health can be a tough battle, and we can use all of the support we can get. Asking your partner to be supportive along this road can make a huge difference. Ask your mate to use positive comments regarding your progress, and to only ask if you are making a wise choice, if you actually slip up. This will allow your partner to feel like he or she is part of the process without giving him or her the power to control it. Encouraging your partner to join you along this path will elicit the greatest amount of support of all.

Man and Woman Running on a BeachGet a training partner. If your mate is unwilling to join you, find someone who is. Having a training partner creates greater motivation and retention than doing it alone. Obviously, find someone of the same sex, or at least someone who won't threaten your mate. If you're meeting resistance from your mate, working out with Lorenzo Lamas won't increase the love at home. In addition to pushing one another to work out and eat healthy, talk with the training partner about your frustrations and ask about his or her own. If you are unable to find a Workout Buddy, remember your Beachbody® Coach is always available to give you added motivation.

Don't fall into eating pitfalls. Grocery shopping, meal preparation, and snacking can be challenging in a household on the same eating path. But when you are trying to eat lean protein and vegetables, and your partner would prefer macaroni and cheese with a side of fries, the challenge can become World War III. If you are the primary shopper and food preparer, you have a lot of power over what your family consumes. Healthy food can taste great, and your mate might have no idea that you have altered his or her diet. With that said, you might need to make concessions for what your mate desires and make alterations to meal plans that can satisfy both people's needs. Something as easy as adding an extra side for your mate can keep the peace. If you are not the primary meal provider, be prepared to take control over what you consume.

Also, make sure tempting treats are out of immediate reach. If you have a countertop full of potato chips and Oreos®, eating carrot sticks might lose its appeal. Put all of your partner's junk food in a specific drawer, and avoid it.

Try to work out around family time. There are only so many hours in a day, and you should spend at least eight of those hours asleep. Finding time to exercise can be challenging as it is. And if that exercise time cuts into time that can be spent with a loved one, resentment can build. I have several friends who began workout programs that took them immediately from work to the gym daily, which got them home at 9 PM. Basically, they didn't see their mate until Saturday, which did not go over well. Here is where P90X and INSANITY® workouts are so helpful. If you can manage to crawl out of bed a bit earlier in the morning, you can begin your day with an amazing workout, and still be home in time to have dinner with your partner. If you're a night owl, try working out after your love has retired for the evening. Being considerate of your time together can make all the difference in the world.

Keep the peace, but honor thyself. Sometimes all of the communication and consideration in the world will not help a partner to understand your desire to change. If this is the case, short of seeking therapy, you must continue toward your goals and try to make it as undisruptive as possible to your partner. We realize that this is one of the most important relationships in your life, but no relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself. Happy CoupleWalking away from health and fitness to please someone else will just lead you down the path of resentment. Keep moving forward, creating positive change, and try to still give energy to the relationship. Maybe your partner will not understand, but perhaps over time, he or she can learn to accept.

Relationships can be incredible adventures that offer great opportunities for growth, happiness, and security. Learning to navigate that adventure can be challenging, but ultimately well worth it. Always remember that your greatest tools are communication and compassion. Sometimes, trying to understand why our partner is resistant can help you figure out a way to explain your needs to them. And know that change will come in life, whether we create it or not. Figuring out how to foster support over something like lifestyle change can make the harder struggles in life easier to deal with later on. Having six-pack abs should not destroy "till death do us part." And with communication, consideration, and some effective planning, perhaps your mate might learn to love your new look.

Related Articles
"10 Ways to Think Yourself Thinner"
"9 Aphrodisiacs to Heat Up Your Love Life"
"What Motivates Me"

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, November 23rd, at 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your Liquor Legends IQ!

By DeLane McDuffie

Liquor BottlesLiquor touches most of our lives during the holidays in some way. Some of us would never think that a case of liquor could ever be a bad holiday present. Some of us even owe our very presence to liquor, period. Although it usually is the star of the holiday party, most of us never really take the time to think of the people behind the liquor—the people who started it all. See if you can match the correct liquor legend with his or her unofficial title.

  1. Charles Tanqueray - Spiritual spirit-maker. Although he was from a long line (three generations) of holy men, Charles Tanqueray felt that he had another calling: "Surprise, Dad! You worry about warring sin. I'll worry about pouring gin!" He started distilling gin in 1830 in the Bloomsbury part of London. Within 17 years, he was shipping his gin to all corners of the British Empire, where soldiers would sit and drink, and try to figure out how to pronounce Tanqueray.
  2. Tom Collins - Citywide hoaxer. New Yorkers were mad in 1874. Irate, in fact. Some schmo had been talking trash about their fair city, and they wanted to tap dance on this guy's face. Suppose you were walking through Manhattan with some friends during that time; they would have told you where to find him—at a particular bar or tavern. You would have stormed over to this urban saloon's bartender and demanded to know the whereabouts of that despicable varmint called Tom Collins. The bartender would have probably chuckled a little, eventually handing you a refreshing, summery mix of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda. Meet Tom Collins, angry, thirsty person. Tom Collins, meet angry, thirsty person.
  3. Jack Daniel - Unsafe safecracker One of a baker's dozen of kids of Welsh descent, Lynchburg, Tennessee's Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel was a marketing genius. His gentleman's attire and wide-brimmed hat made him stand out as a self-promoter, almost on a Colonel Sanders-esque level. His decision to go with a square bottle that not only was visually different from other bottles, but also didn't roll around and shatter during travel, was key. Seems like his only downfall was his temper. He arrived at his distillery office early one morning in 1906. He tried to get into his safe, but he forgot the combination. Enraged, he kicked the living tarnation out of the safe, injuring his left foot. Later on, the bruise turned into an infection, which turned into blood poisoning, then gangrene, which spelled curtains for the American whiskey icon.
  4. Rita de la Rosa - Booze muse. There are many claims to this particular throne, but this account is one of the most widely believed. In Rosarito Beach, Mexico, in 1938, a cabaret bartender named Dan Herrera fell head over heels in love with a Guadalajaran showgirl. Not able to get her out of his mind, Herrera went into artist-mode and whipped up a masterpiece of a cocktail. He called it the Margarita, in honor of the woman who took his breath away, Rita de la Rosa. (Good thing, too. With all of that taste-testing and experimenting, he may have failed the breathalyzer test.)
  5. Sir Henry Morgan - Feared privateer. Ever see one of those Captain Morgan commercials with people standing triumphantly with one leg hoisted up? Well, that cheesing pirate on the bottle was a real buccaneer. A Welshman born in 1635, Morgan worked for the governor of Jamaica. His job was to terrorize the Spanish Main (the mainland coast of the Caribbean Sea that was under Spanish rule). With the insane bravery and/or recklessness of a frat boy who would drink too much of the rum that would bear his name centuries later, Morgan managed to capture Spaniards; ransack Port-au-Prince, Haiti; plunder Cuba; hold for ransom, loot, and burn Panamanian cities; and become a knight and lieutenant governor of Jamaica—all before he tried to impress you with that "Hey baby, I'm famous. Ever see me on TV?" pickup line at that bar the other night. Yeah, I know. Pirates can be so tacky.

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