Get Fit Like the First Family: Q&A with Michelle Obama's Trainer
If All My Children really does get cancelled as rumored, at least we can count on warmer weather to get ourselves (and all our children!) off the couch for an outdoor workout — like Michelle Obama does. SHAPE scored an exclusive Q&A with Cornell McClellan, fitness consultant and personal trainer to the First Family — who love to play outside.
Q: How does the First Family like to work out?
A: The First Family believes in working out together, outdoors, when they can find the time. They are an active family and want to inspire the whole country to get active — because it makes for a healthier, more productive nation.
Q: What's a typical outdoor workout for Michelle Obama and her family?
A: They might begin with a brisk walk-jog or an easy jog, starting slow to warm up their muscles, plus a little stretching. From there: jumping jacks, running in place, arm circles forwards and backwards, deep knee-bends or squats, split-leg squats, push-ups.
Q: What's the best way to take advantage of good weather for a workout?
A: Tricep dips on a park bench, step-ups on the curb, skipping, jumping rope, wall-sits (holding a squat with your back against a wall). You can also take a brisk walk to explore your neighborhood or visit landmarks, as the Obamas do. Finally, there are playground games like flag football, soccer, tag or a relay race. These games re-acclimate your body to moving three-dimensionally through space. We're meant to move, not just to sit at our desks.
Q: I guess that holds true even for the President! How can I make sure I follow through with my intentions of getting fit this year?
A: Join the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) Challenge to commit to, track the progress of, and get rewarded for your efforts. Adults can strive to be active 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week, for at least 6 weeks. Kids and teens can strive to be active 60 minutes a day for the same time period. This challenge is in harmony with Michelle's Lets Move initiative — getting outside, getting active. The sun is calling!