Working parents know that time is in short supply and that sometimes, something has to give. When work commitments and family obligations pile up, a workout is sadly one of the first things to go.
Some local parents have figured out a great solution to this problem by combining quality family time with exercise. According to Today’s Parent magazine, “Finding time to exercise is tough for most of us at the best of times. Making it a family affair can put the fun back into fitness, as well as keeping parents and kids motivated to get out and exercise.”
The Bost family of Gainesville clearly abides by this theory. Dad Craig is an agent with Florida Farm Bureau Insurance and Mom Katy is an adoption attorney. They are parents to three daughters: Taete, age 12, Tanner, age 11, and Tommie, age 9. Craig says he tries to do something physical every day, whether it is working out with weights, circuit training or running. Katy likes to walk/run in the mornings. While they each have individual fitness interests, they are often active as a family.
“We all love basketball, so we will get out in our cul-de-sac and play,” said Craig. “I will occasionally set up circuit stations at the house and have my girls run through them. Circuit training is different and keeps you intrigued because of the variety of exercises, plus we try to push and encourage each other.”
The Bost girls aren’t afraid of a little dirt, either. Twice they have competed as a five-person team in the family wave of the annual Swamp Dash mud run.
Craig feels that exercise makes him a better professional. “It keeps you strong mentally and motivated,” he said. “Running gives me an opportunity to brainstorm different ideas and also helps to relieve stress.”
When he combines it with family time, there is a double benefit. “I have been running with Tommie for over a year now. It gives me time with her one-on-one. We talk, so I can find out what is happening at school.”
The Bosts feel that exercising together helps everyone stay fit, while also teaching their children life lessons, such as setting and achieving goals. “Exercising and doing sports with our kids shows them that hard work in their lives can pay off,” Craig said. “It is very rewarding.”
The Wacker family, also of Gainesville, will second that. Andrew Wacker works as a technical team leader for Info Tech, Inc., a local software company. His wife Wendy Crites-Wacker is VP of Global Communications for RTI Surgical, Inc., a surgical implant provider. They are parents to twin sons Aaron and Alex, age 9.
Andrew is passionate about the role of fitness in his life as a professional and a parent. “Physical fitness is important just to keep the cumulative stresses from work and home in check. Without the exercise, I probably wouldn’t be able to mentally keep up with everything.”
Individually, Andrew is a runner/biker and Wendy uses an elliptical trainer at home and trains at Sweat Life Fitness in Haile Plantation. The boys play a variety of sports, including flag football, soccer and basketball. As a family, however, they are a team of long distance bikers.
“We try to take a family bike ride once a month or so,” Andrew said. “We load the bike rack on the car and head to one of the many trailheads in the area. With the trails, you can relax and not worry about traffic as much. We’ve gone as much as 20 miles as a family, but usually keep it around 10 miles. We keep it interesting by finding new trails to explore.”
Andrew adds “Exercising as a family is a double bonus. Not only do you all get the physical activity but you also get quality family time.”
Photo: It’s not unusual to see Craig Bost and his daughter Tommie running together. Whether it’s basketball, circuit training or running, the Bosts often combine family time and fitness.