- Name – Anita Simonds
- Where do you live? Grand Rapids, Michigan
- How many children do you have? 4 Ages? Aleksandra 18, Erika 16, Luke 15 and Jake 13
- How long have you lead an active lifestyle? I have always lead an active lifestyle. I participated in middle and high school sports almost every season and after high school started running more and going to the gym for exercise classes. My major in college was exercise science so I achieved my certification as Fitness Instructor in my early 20’s and have been teaching exercise classes since then (so a very long time 🙂 ).
- Has your focus or priorities changed about exercise since having kids? Explain. I kept teaching exercise classes during all 4 pregnancies and even when the kids were young. We had our kids very close together so it was kind of tricky fitting exercise in during their younger years. My husband, John, and I made a point of it to take power walks with our 2 double baby joggers or with the oldest on a bike at times.
- What is your favorite type of exercise? Spinning and running are my favorites, but I like all types of classes and like to mix it up for a challenge. I don’t run many races, but try to have the 5/3 Riverbank 25K run on the calendar. I have done the race several times, but it is always still challenging for me.
- What have you taught your children about exercise? From when the kids were young, we encouraged them to try all sorts of different activities — swimming, gymnastics and dance for the girls, soccer, skating, basketball, volleyball, etc. They have picked their favorites, but all have been active in sports from the time they were pretty young.
- How do you stay motivated to keep fit/active? Exercise helps me feel good about myself and my health and gives me energy to keep up with the kids and their activities. I try to get some exercise every day – whether its teaching an exercise class, taking a class, running, cross country skiing or biking. If you shoot for some activity every day, even if you get busy and can’t fit it in every day, you get something most days of the week.
- One tip or piece of advice you can offer other moms to get their kids moving? If parents exercise, the kids see that and usually want to do what mom & dad are doing. We have always liked to walk, bike ride or try 🙂 to play sports with the kids. If you can encourage your kids to try different activities, they will probably find sports they want to pursue. If they are active from a young age, they will most likely do well in the activities they try and it will help build strength, endurance and self-esteem. Even if they end up switching to a different activity, the endurance and strength carry over.
Thanks Anita!!! I met Anita at they gym. We both teach Spin classes and I love to sub her class when it works. I am teaching for her today! 🙂