Talking About Exercise With My Unschooling Teenager


What do you think about exercise? Do you enjoy running or working out or walking or perhaps something else?

I exercise. I have to. I have a bossy teenage daughter who thinks I should stay active. She keeps saying such things as, “You must look at this Fitness Blender workout, Mum. You’ll like it!” Will I?

I enjoy exercising. I love running through the bush, breathing in the fresh morning air, knowing I’m not going to collapse in a heap at the end of the first trail. But working out with dumbbells? Doing HIIT (high intensity interval training)? Do I enjoy doing that?

You might know that, a while ago, Sophie persuaded me to do an 8-week Fitness Blender workout program. It was hard work. It was definitely a challenge. But I did it. At the end of the program, I felt wonderful.

“Are you going to continue working out, Mum?”

“Oh yes, I’m going to do the 8-week program again.”

But I didn’t. I don’t know what went wrong. I did a few workouts here and there, but I wasn’t consistent. The other day I realised that if I didn’t get back on track quickly, I’d lose all that fitness I’d worked so hard to gain.

I didn’t want to repeat the same program I did last time. Instead, I asked Sophie to put a program together for me: “Choose workouts that aren’t longer than 40 minutes and concentrate on strength training. I do enough aerobic activity while I’m running.”

So Sophie (with a sparkle in her eye) whizzed all over the Fitness Blender site looking for appropriate videos. She placed all the links in my Fitness Blender account calendar. I now have my next month’s exercise all planned out.

This morning I started the program. I went to my account and looked at today’s videos. And then I shouted, “Hey, Sophie! What’s this?  I’ve got to do a 100 squat challenge as well as an upper body strength workout?”

“That’s an extra, Mum. You don’t have to do it.”

But of course, I didn’t really have a choice. The challenge was in my program. I felt obliged to do it. So I did it. 100 squats. Oh my! I did every single one of them. And when I’d finished, I felt good.  (I don’t suppose I’ll feel quite so good tomorrow.)

Sophie has been off her feet for the last week. She has a bruised and twisted ankle. She fell over a dumbbell while exercising.

“Exercise isn’t good for you,” I said. “It can end in injury. It’s much safer to sit still and do nothing.”

Of course, that’s not true. Exercise keeps us healthy and active. It affects our mental state. It makes sure we are capable of living life to the full.

“Do you want to talk about exercise with me? We could make a video,” I said to Sophie. “I could ask you why you love exercising. Is it because you want to look good? You could tell everyone about Fitness Blender, give us your review. Is it meant for young people who are concerned with their appearance?”

Sophie didn’t mind chatting to me. We had a fun conversation. I filmed it, and now the video is on Youtube.  (I’ve made a few videos recently. My Youtube channel subscribers must be wondering what’s going on. I’ve been unusually productive.)

I’m going to embed Sophie’s video here on my blog. I’m also going to embed the Fitness Blender 100 Rep Squat Challenge video, just in case a squat challenge is exactly what you feel like doing today.



So what do you think about exercise? Are we obliged to be good active examples for our kids (if we can)? And how do you feel about squats? Do you want to take up the 100 rep squat challenge?


If you’d like to keep up with my videos, you could subscribe to my Youtube channel. Who knows? I might stay unusually productive.

Do you know why I’ve been so productive recently? I’ve been trying to reduce distractions. I might tell you about that another day!

Image: after a strenuous run.

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  1. Reply

    I love that article ! I started working out 2 years ago, and I enjoyed it, but after 5 months things just slipped over (is that proper english ???) and I stopped. This year I decided to start again because I really liked to feel my body toned and it gave me a lot of energy. I usually use JNL fusion videos, HIIT around 30-40 mn, although she can have a very "too much" attitude. I really would like to explore the idea of an 8 week challeng on fitness blender. I have to look deeper into that. But if Sophie wants to help…why not creating a video or blog article where she explains how to set up a great 8 week program ? I would love that ;-D !

    1. Reply


      I hadn't heard about the JNL fusion videos so I did some googling. Thanks for sharing!

      I'm sure you'd love Fitness Blender. Sophie tells me there are over 500 videos, so there's something for everyone. Every day's workout can be different which helps reduce boredom.

      There's a search engine on the Fitness Blender website. Sophie put in some keywords to do with length of workout, type of exercise, equipment I wanted to use, and the body area I wanted to focus on. A number of videos were suggested. Sophie has done a lot of the videos so she included some of her favourites. And she liked the additional challenges so she added a few of those to my program too.

      I think there's a couple of free 5 day programs. You could try one of these if you don't want to put together your own program. They'll give you a taste of Fitness Blender. We've bought several of the FB programs and worked through them. I suppose these gave Sophie a good idea about what to include in a program.

      I passed on your suggestion to Sophie about creating a video or post about programming. She likes that idea!

      Thank you so much for your comment. I've enjoyed chatting about exercise programs with you!

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