Division of tasks within the Department of Education, Recreation and Sport

17 September, 2021 • Par Bougeotte et Placotine

Division of tasks within the Department of Education, Recreation and Sport
By Sarah Baribeau, kinesiologist and founder of Bougeotte and Placotine
Mom of a soccer player, a gymnast and a hiker
Spouse of a physical education teacher, cross-country skier, climber and sports fanatic!

Despite the fair sharing of tasks and mental workload within your family, you still wonder how to integrate physical activity into your schedule? Our collaborator Sarah, founder and president of Bougeotte et Placotine, gives you her tips for getting there!

Is it possible to be active parents?

Unless you are a seasoned athlete, physical activity is often one of the first things to be cut from a parent's schedule. Justin's soccer, Lili's basketball and Margaux's karate often take priority. After homework, work, children's activities, meals, housework, friends, family, it can be difficult to find just a few minutes for the parents' active leisure.

We know that having a healthy lifestyle is a challenge for the majority of the population. Indeed, reaching the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity seems unattainable. Yet many parents are successful. How do they do? I reveal some of my tricks, as well as theirs.

Idea #1: discussion with your life partner 

Before adding physical activity to your life, but also to the life of the whole family, it is important to have a discussion with your partner in order to discuss this new priority. Of course, it is preferable not to upset the family balance too much. On the other hand, a discussion in order to clarify everyone's needs and to establish a certain fairness by discussing the time that everyone needs is often the first step to take.

Idea #2: trade the restaurant for a sports activity 

Practicing a physical activity as a couple can also be a good solution for successfully integrating sport into the family schedule. First, you have to find the physical activity that you and your partner enjoy. Then, once in a while, just replace dinner at a restaurant with a game of tennis, a trip to a climbing center, a walk, a hike or a game of 21 basketball. Otherwise, why not go skating or discover a new sport? Guaranteed quality time, both for yourself and for the couple!

Idea #3: surround yourself with active people

Of course, Bougeotte et Placotine allowed me to meet a lot of active moms. Seven years later, these moms are my cross-country skiing and jogging partners in the evenings and mornings. Rather than going to the spa, we organize a sports challenge in cross-country skiing and we plan outings on weeknights thanks to Facebook. In addition to taking news, we move and we take care of our friendships!


Idea #4: plan your training times 

Are your schedules overflowing? The first thing is to discuss with your partner the best time to train. For some, it's very early in the morning before the rush sets in, for others it's in the evening once the children are in bed. Then, once everyone is on board, planning it out and putting it on your agenda is the first step to success. If you have a free hour at work, why not bring sports clothes, snacks and voila, let's optimize the moment? And why not take co-workers with you?

Idea #5: move with your children 

With us, we have always optimized the times when our children are at their activities. One goes to the race at the gymnastics palestra while the other who brought the child there leaves the car there and returns in turn to the race. Or why not complete a short weight training circuit during soccer practice or go cross-country skiing while the kids are in their skating lessons? I guarantee everyone will have a smile on their face!


Idea #6: Exercise as a family 

Discovering a new family activity or introducing your children to sport are such magical moments. Whether it's learning to play tennis and rally balls at the wall, going for a hike, throwing balls to the basket, going to the pool or playing tag in the park, the important thing is to keep a child's heart and adapt to their abilities.

Becoming an active person or family requires action. Discussing it with all the members of the family as well as with your spouse is the first step. Taking time for yourself also means setting an example for others around you and saying that time to move, time for yourself, is important.

I wish you lots of active moments alone, with friends or family!