There are lots of factors that can turn mother-daughter workout experiences into a less than enjoyable situation. There are generation gaps (both physical and mental) along with self-image and body consciousness.
Don't let this natural void be intimidating! Working out can be a great opportunity to bond with your daughter when you follow these tips on how to make it an enjoyable experience.
The Decision Should Be a Mutual One
If you want to work out with your daughter, make sure you plan in advance and both parties agree to the activity. Mothers shouldn't pressure their daughters into working out with them, as it will do nothing more than create tension and resentment. If your daughter says no the first time, don't take it too personally. Continue to invite her every time you workout so if she changes her mind, she has the opportunity to accept.
Clearly Communicate Your Goals and Expectations
Before you begin exercising together, make sure you both know each other's fitness goals and what you expect to come from this experience. When choosing health goals, avoid superficial ones like losing weight for the sole purpose of being thin. Instead, workout to help maintain or gain a healthy body weight. Other healthy goals include getting stronger and promoting cardiovascular health.
Begin Exercising Together At Home
If your daughter is a preteen or teenager, they may not feel comfortable exercising in public right off the bat. Instead of jumping into a mother-daughter workout at the gym, workout together at home first. That way, you can get used to how each of you like to warm-up and exercise in the privacy of your own home. Neither of you will have to stress about being in public when just starting out to reach your fitness goals. Once you get used to exercising together, head over to the gym.
Don't Be Afraid to Separate
Not all teenage daughters want to spend every waking minute with their mothers and even those who do may have different workout goals or abilities. Mothers shouldn't make their daughters stay with them at all times if they decide to work out together at the gym. Don't be afraid to venture off and do different things, like signing up for different types of fitness classes or one of you walk around the track while the other runs.
Separating every now and then to try different things will keep tensions from building and overall keep the experience enjoyable for both parties. Plus, when you meet back up you can compare experiences.
Encourage & Motivate One Another
Last, but certainly not least: motivate each other and don't be unnecessarily critical. While constructive criticism is good and can help you improve, avoid negative criticism. You both have personal goals you are trying to achieve and fitness can often become discouraging. Providing the wrong kind of criticism can damage the body image of your teenage daughter and even yourself. Positive encouragement will make success feel all the more glorious in the end.