5 Women Share What They Love About Mother-Daughter Workouts

Any woman will tell you she’s learned some of life’s most important lessons from her mom, dating back to our first memories of breaking a sweat, when she taught us how to tie our shoes and proper playground etiquette. In addition to providing words of wisdom and always lending a sympathetic ear, some moms have been standouts in modeling awesome fitness behavior. In honor of Mother’s Day, we chatted with some ladies who are big fans of mother-daughter workouts. They talked about their favorite thing about exercising as a duo, what they’ve learned from the prior generation and their most memorable gym moments.

It allows for quality time

“What I love most is seeing my mom be active at her age. She is soon to be 66 years old and she has been walking over three and half miles every morning since I was in kindergarten (I am now 35, so do the math!). And she goes to the gym almost four times a week. I think most parents forget that their children ‘watch’ them very closely, and we learn from a young age by watching our parents. Technically, I’ve been working out with my Ma–since I was five, riding my back in the mornings during the summer while she walked every morning, to my first summer home after freshman year of college, which is when I got my Ma to join a gym for the first time. As I got older, working out with her changed because now I was showing her how to do things and introducing her to something new. We laugh a lot, and we are spending quality time together while being healthy together. You can’t put a price tag on that!” —Alicia P.

It’s all about positive vibes

“I love working out with my mom because she is the strongest but most modest woman I know.  Modesty in the fitness world is dying, and she has such inner and outer strength it’s amazing. We feed off each other. Because she lives a healthy lifestyle [and is a yoga instructor], she has inspired and taught me to do the same.” —Jenna L.

It’s a great way to learn things

“My [favorite] thing about doing yoga with my mom is that she is very knowledgeable. If I ever have any ailment, she knows what pose to do for it. My mom’s taught me that working out is not only good for your body, it’s therapeutic for your mind and soul. And it’s always available to you!” —Alex P.

It’s the best support system

“My favorite thing about working out with my mom is knowing I have her by my side to support me, just as she’s done my entire life. Whether this means a smile or thumbs up when we like a really good song during a class at Flywheel, commiserating glances when we are going through a fast push or steep hill, or just a high five when we’re done after a tough class, it’s nice to know there is someone there who is going to encourage me and push me to do my best, but never compete with me. My mom’s attitude towards working out has definitely influenced my own since I was young. When I was in middle school, I remember she got some aerobics VHS tapes and would work out every day in our basement. Later, as she has tried out any number of classes at the gym or worked out with trainers, she has shown me that age and ability have nothing on enthusiasm and willingness to try new things.

What matters is that you do something you like, that you keep at it, and you keep moving. This has been a huge influence on me. I’m probably never going to be the best rider in a spin class or the fastest runner out there, but if I like what I’m doing and I’m having fun and moving my body, it doesn’t matter.”—Anne K.

She doesn’t let me slack off

“I know my mom will always be real with me, so if I try to flake on one of our workouts, she’s going to be no b.s. and tell me to get my butt to the gym. That tough love is necessary for someone like me, who sometimes looks for excuses to bail on a workout. We’ve been working out together since I joined her at a cardio dance class at age 12 (and mostly stumbled through it!), and she’s by far the best workout buddy.” —Rachel S.

Kelsey Butler is a reporter and editor living in New Jersey. She has written for health and lifestyle publications including Women's Health and Brides. A proud dog mom of one, you can find her skiing or on the bocce court in her spare time.