Barbara Ling’s 10 tips for making family exercising fun

You know exercise is good for you

but how do you make it fun for your family? Try out these great tips I do with my own!

10.) Dance Dance Revolution. DDR (or Dance Dance Revolution) is a great way to bring all family members together. Even when it’s not your tun on the mat, you can practice the moves behind the family member who is currently participating! Kids of all ages adore this game, and parents too can have a blast with it.

9.) Add music! Do you have a favorite family CD that everyone loves to listen to? Get the kids together and tell them to make up their own exercise moves to it (the sillier the better!). Your children will try to outdo each other in making them laugh…which will make them exercise more. :)

8.) Go to Family Swim. Do you have a local YMCA? If so, did you know there’s family swim every day? My family goes there at least once a week and has a blast splashing in the kids’ pool with their parents.

7.) Make an Obstacle Course in your home. We live in a ranch house that has a staircase to the basement on either sides. I’ve set up obstacle courses that had things to jump over in the basement, things to dodge in the hallway, and things under which to crawl in the living room (you can hang a pole over two chairs for that, or use a bo-staff if you’re into martial arts). One by one, I’ll let the kids dash through the course, while their siblings cheer them on.

6.) Do a Family Walk! Back when I was starting my get-healthy plan, I began walking 2.4 miles around my home. Then I figured, why not have company? So I brought my kids along. The side benefit to this is that we have an hour of solid family time together, where we can talk about many things that happened during the day.

5.) Take karate as a family. Besides being a great skill for all kids to master, it’s a wonderful way to keep active. I’m the only mom who takes it with my kids at my dojo, and they’re quite proud of me. Never mess with Samurai Mom!

4.) Go roller skating. Talk about zooming! Roller skating is great tame fun (especially if the music is from the 70s!). And the added benefit is when summer rolls around…your kids will already have the skills to roller skate on the boardwalk.

3.) Put on fun exercise DVDs. Think Billy Blanks is just for adults? Your kids will try to outdo you in any exercise DVD you put on. My kids want to tell Billy, your DVDs are very painful and we love them. Gotta love kids.

2.) Have silly competitions. How many pushups can YOU do? How many jumping jacks will level your children? Challenge your kids to the last one standing; you’ll be surprised how far they’ll push themselves.

and the number 1 fun family exercise tip is:

1.) Be creative! Ask your kids for what they’d love to do if computers didn’t exist. Then see if you can recreate it at home. Quite often with a little bit of big huge minds, you’ll be able to make it happen as a family. The family that laughs together, lasts together.



ps – need some great exercise DVDs?

Children, nunchaku and taking a break


Well, it’s a delightful Sunday afternoon.

I had planned on spending time hacking up my forum software, when one of my kids came to me and said, Mom! Let’s go practice our nunchaku katas outside!

Now, you have to understand – the last time I did nunchaku was about, oh, hmmm, 3 months ago? I had basically decided to drop this weapon as the kata required side kicks (which I was incapable of doing back then). However, I’m healed now, so I decided, heck, work could wait, let’s spend some quality kid time.

Wow, what a lot of fun it was! I was quite surprised that I remembered so much about the nunchaku techniques – I was even able to do the around-the-neck move with no problem at all. Perhaps I’ll rejoin the class again – it was really enjoyable.

And P90x-related, today is XStretch, but I’m debating about substituting it with YogaX. Gotta love the challenge that DVD presents.



ps – some nifty nunchaku goodies include:

100 karate front kicks, 100 karate round house kicks, 100 karate jump front kicks…..


I’ve come to the conclusion that to flow better in karate, it would reeeeealllly help if I practiced at home. Thus, I’m creating my own home-study program of the basics, and so far, it seems to be rather useful indeed.

Let’s take front kicks. The key to getting height, obviously, is to raise your knee high (the crowd goes wild!) and then kick. But what if you’re rather, ahem, a klutz at that?

Simple! Just practice raising your knee…and that’s it. And do it again and again and again and again and …. you get the idea. Eventually, your thighs realize, hey! I can lift high! And once you’re at that point, you can then focus on the actual kick outwards. Do that 100 times on both sides.

Next, tackle the round house kicks. This is the kick I like but am lousy at – it involves pivoting on the left ankle, which is quite difficult for me. However, I’ve learned that even someone as graceless as me can improve – it’s all a matter of staying within your center of gravity. Then do those, 100 times on both sides.

Next, let’s talk jump front kicks! They’re still pretty impossible for me. But! I have managed to break down the moves like I did with the front kicks, and am now practicing them one at a time. It will take time, I know, but every day I can feel myself getting better and better.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in during my life, it’s that you should never accept commonly-held beliefs without testing the boundaries yourself. And if you run into a roadblock, modify! Compensate! Never give up – you’ll almost always discover the one super way that works for you.



ps – some neat Karate goodies!

Magic Legs reviews and discounts – coupons for Leg Magic and more

Morning everyone,

Gotta love infomercials, yes indeed, one does. Sometimes it’s really difficult to keep in mind the official name of a particular product!

Take Leg Magic (otherwise known as Magic Legs). It looks like:

(and notice, some of the above have great discount savings!). Those I found for you on eBay. eBay, of course, is a super resource at which to buy Leg Magic, Magic Legs, heck, just about any kind of exercise product – the sad truth is, many of these items end up being glorified clothing hangers, and eventually, folks just decide to move them along.

I’ve also found Leg Magic at stores too! I’ve seen them at

Now! Here’s a nice secret – quite often, the above stores will offer coupons you can bring in for additional discounts. I used a 25% off coupon for my Perfect Pushups at Sports Authority once! And you can visit sites like Mr. Rebates and get additional money off.
What about the product itself? Does it really deliver? Here are some reviews you can check out:

Hope the above is useful!



ps – some discount Leg Magic!

P90x Review, X Stretch – Week 4, Day 4, Total Days – 24

Morning everyone,

Joy of joys, it seems that my sleeping patterns are returning to normal – I got up at 5:15am and did my X Stretch at around 9am.

Have I mentioned how much I truly enjoy this DVD? Stretching has imparted such flexibility to my body that I’m able to move far more freer and easily than before. I can hardly believe the “me” of today is so superior, physical-wise, to the “Me” of last year!

I’m not able to do the inverse wrist stretches, mind you, and “camel” hah! is not even really an option. Be that as it may, however, I did make certain to substitute in my karate stretches whenever possible – standing side leg, split leg, etc. The good news there – I can virtually (almost!) attain a 170 degree angle and sit on the floor when I try to stretch out the right leg (yay!). It’s been 2 months now that I’ve been practicing splits on and off…it’s really coming together.

And that’s day 24,


ps – some nice P90x goodies include:

Turbo Jam Fitness reviews, discounts and more – finding coupons online

Howdy everyone,

One of the best cardio DVDs out there is TurboJam. And did you know you can get great discounts like:

From where did I get these goodies? Why, eBay of course!

Generally there are two types of Turbo Jam sellers on eBay – your typical merchants, and then those folks who bought it and have moved onto a different workout program. And if you’re lucky, you can even find great lots of Turbo Jam fitness DVDs and videos; those turn out to be quite the money-saver.

So! Turbo Jam fitness is neat because the workouts involve all parts of your body – upper, lower, core, etc. And the instructor, Charlene, is just one happy enthusiastic individuals – the time whooses on by during all the workouts.

Here are some of the great Turbo Jam Fitness DVDs available:

As you can see, there are lots of Turbo Jam fitness goodies and discounts online. Want to find some reviews? Consider:

As you can see, you can find lots of reviews and great discounts alike. Enjoy your exploration!


ps – more Turbo Jam goodies include:

DDR Dance Dance Revolution – oh what great fun and a calorie burner!

Afternoon everyone,

Oh I’m smooshed!

After several hours of patience marketing online, I challenged my kids to Dance Dance Revolution. Now, we used to do this all the time during the summer at Camp Ling, so it’s been quite awhile since I last put my feet on those mats.

My gosh, talk about, ahem, uncoordinated! My skills apparently have melted away during the months I’ve not tried it. I see the arrows on the screen and say to my feet, okay feet, move to the correct arrow…and it just doesn’t happen. :) But still, it’s great fun! We were at it for about an hour.

And for us parents/moms/dads/etc., DDR is a terrific calorie burner! There’s a practice and test mode as well, so you can train your feet to move to the correct arrows during specific beats. And don’t forget about

That’s where smart parents like us gather to share tips on doing well! And don’t knock Dance Dance Revolution as an extreme exercise – many people have lost dozens of pounds doing it. DDR Weight Loss Stories are most interesting to read.

Here are some more great DDR resources:

If you’re looking for something to do at home that really gets the blood pumping and your heart rate up, do yourself a favor and check it out; age is no factor! You’ll be happy you did.



ps – Here are some nice DDR pads:

Bad Kung Fu Tricks – Most amusing indeed

Howdy all,

I just came across

It has such classics as:

  • The fingerlock sucker bet
  • How to fake extraordinary strength
  • How to tear a phonebook in half
  • How to break a beer bottle with your bare hands
  • Iron body part II – breaking stones and concrete
  • Girl vs. 6 men
  • How to fake a powerful punch
  • The original paper punch video
  • How to break bricks
  • How to roll up a frying pan
  • Slow down your heart, then stop it completely
  • How to make a chinese finger trap
  • How to outstrength any man
  • How to lift someone over your head with one hand
  • The matchbox knockout

Do check it out – you’ll enjoy it.


ps – here are some Kung Fu goodies:

Sexy after 40 – Carmen Electra Vegas Strip Cardio

Howdy everyone,

Well, as you probably know if you’ve been reading my blog now for the past year, I’ve lost 45+ pounds and have started to really get into shape. I used for my workouts great resources like:

and I also started doing Karate with my kids.

Recently, I’ve realized something ‘way ‘way cool for me – I’m sexy. I can look at myself in the mirror and say, gosh, I look really good!

This is pretty amazing for me for several reasons. One, because of my lousy bone structure, I never could look at my body without focusing on the negatives. You know how 20-somethings can ‘strut their stuff’ in walking, dance, etc.? I never learned how to do that back in college. ‘Matter of fact, I always kinda sorta mentally hid myself from letting people admire my physical features. If I wasn’t okay to me, I certainly wouldn’t be okay to the rest of the world.

Shallow? Perhaps. That’s okay, one goes thru various periods of focusing or not on unimportant things in life.

Zoom now to a few weeks ago. I was in Kmart and checking out their DVD videos, and saw the Carmen Electra Vegas Strip Cardio workout. Vegas? Strip? Shake thy booty? After a snort or two, I re-thought to myself, hey, why not – if I’ve been able now to accept I’ve improved dramatically, why NOT give myself permission to check out the sexy moves I never learned back in college?

That DVD has been sitting on my shelf now for 2 weeks…and yesterday, I actually tried it out. Wowsa! I have hips! They can move! They can shake! And get this…it’s actually fun!

I can’t believe I never learned hip shimmies/moves/etc. back when I was in college. Wow, what I missed out! Not only will my husband benefit :) , but it also has the advantage of giving me a very confident attitude and walk.

Stay with me here, this is important. When you’re fat and overweight, quite often you never really examine the physical you, as it’s just too darned depressing. And when you lose the weight, you might still find yourself shackled by prior beliefs – why should I try to look good, I never did before?

You should do so because it makes YOU feel great. It really does! I really couldn’t care less about who is looking at me when outside or at karate or at the gym or …. you get the idea….but I know (I really know!) that all those months of hard work and exercise has paid off and by gosh, I’m one sexy woman!

Who said that only the 20 or 30 somethings should have the monopoly on not only looking good, but feeling great? Age is but a number – it’s the lightness of your spirit that counts.

You can choose how to feel, and you can choose how to be. To hell with what society says – be true to yourself and let yourself shine. You’ll be astounded at how good you really feel.



ps – Here are some other Carmen Electra workout DVDs:

Is your gym too racy and sexy?

Morning everyone,

Well, flap my earlobes and call me Bambi, but I really cannot believe the following from Utah.

…. Some students say health club showing pornography

Some college students in Utah County are calling some music videos pornographic, and they are trying to get a health club to take them off its screen….

The students have documented five music videos played on the Gold’s Gym music video network which they call objectionable. Jesse Yaffe says, “Once you are a member here, you basically don’t have the choice anymore. You’re forced to watch indecent material because you go where there’s a TV. They’ve got the Gold’s Gym membership network, and certain videos they play are extremely indecent, and some are outright pornography.”…

The controversy involves two Gold’s Gym locations in Utah County frequented by BYU and UVSC students. Five organizations are banding together to keep the videos from being shown at the gyms. …

The students gave Gold’s 10 days to remedy their concerns before they start picketing the health club. They outlined four specific issues they’d like resolved:

* No rated R movies or sexually explicit or racy PG-13 movies.

* Change the content of Gold’s Broadcasting Network or don’t show the Network.

* Keep external TV’s on decent and clean stations, or let members choose the channels themselves.

* Install blinds on the aerobics room to block the dancing, which is very provocative.

It is…just NOT to be believed.


Now, while I would love thinking the world revolved around me and my family and my friends and those people ONLY, I actually confess to (hold on to your seats here) “living in the real world.” Gasp! Fancy that! Just because something might bother me or my friends….doesn’t mean I have to change the whole organization so everyone else is inconvenienced.

I certainly don’t know about you, but whenever I work out at my local gym, I actually self-advocate and (eeek!) turn the channel to what I want to watch! I will bravely admit that I blatantly stare at…. yes, it’s true…. “How It’s Made!” and and and “Meerkat Manor” and and and… you get the idea! Yes, I take ownership of my own reactions and my own decisions!

What a concept. My oh my, what a concept.

Here’s something those kids should realize – when you’re at the gym, you’re there to work out. You’re there to push yourself and better yourself and NOT to angst over what’s playing or what other people look like. My gosh, that last demand:

  • * Install blinds on the aerobics room to block the dancing, which is very provocative.

Reminds me of the middle east countries, in which women cannot participate in religious worship with the men because the men might become distracted. Talk about blaming the other party!

Now, true….if there was an aerobics class that resembled, say, hmmm, Chippendales, I’d probably…practice NOT averting the eyes. It would be considered a bonus visual bounty of the gym. :)

What do you think?



ps – but of course, if you are looking for “sexy” and “gym” together….