Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Your Family Get Fit with “Sneaky Fitness”! (Book Review)

Missy Chase Lapine is on a mission to help parents raise healthier children. First, she published the New York Times bestseller, The Sneaky Chef, which taught parents how to incorporate healthy ingredients into kids’ meals -- without them knowing it. Now, in her new book, Sneaky Fitness, she’s ready to teach parents how to sneak physical fitness and exercise into their kids’ lives!

How would you like for your children to…

Have more brain power?
Have higher self-esteem?
Have more (healthy) energy?
Have fewer sick days?
Sleep better?
Get better grades?
Be stronger?
Be at lower risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes?
Have fun?

Amazingly, your children have a much better chance of achieving all these things with a regular schedule of exercise!

I was very eager to see this book because I’m the first to admit that the thought of exercise fills me with dread. I hate gyms. I don’t want to jog. I stay fairly active, and I’m not overweight, but I know I’m not as healthy as I can be. And I feel badly that I’m not setting a good example for my boys, whose love of video games definitely outweighs that of exercise. So, how can I change that?

Basically, Lapine and coauthor Larysa DiDio say, it’s through play and activities that kids are doing already. But there are ways in which we can make these everyday activities be more effective in getting kids moving and burning calories. Sneaky Fitness is loaded with suggestions to do just that.

For example, they say, leave out a clean load of socks and let the kids take turns tossing them into the laundry basket! Keep moving the basket farther and farther away. Not only will they have to toss farther, but they’ll have to run farther to retrieve the socks from the basket. When the game is over and the socks have been folded, have your children run to the dresser to put them away.

We recently did the following trick at our house: purchase an alarm clock to help your kids awaken in the morning, and place it across the room so they have to get out of bed to turn it off! If their alarm clock has a CD or MP3 player, have them wake up to a favorite song and challenge them to get their bed made before the song ends!

These are just a few of the hundreds of very easy but effective ways to help your kids to exercise more. (And you can do them, too. Make it a family event!) Part Two of Sneaky Fitness is filled with great recipes for every meal of the day. Similar to Lapine’s book, The Sneaky Chef, these kid-friendly recipes show parents how to hide healthy foods into meals that kids already love, such as pancakes, cupcakes, and burgers.

Sneaky Fitness: Fun, Foolproof Ways to Slip Fitness into Your Child’s Everyday Life will inspire you to help your family get off the couch, get moving, get outdoors, and get in shape! You’ll find that it’s easy to do and, in fact, a lot of fun! Best of all, the benefits for everyone’s health are numerous and long-lasting.

I encourage you to visit to read more about this book. And then run (don’t walk) to your nearest bookseller to pick up a copy of Sneaky Fitness! You can also purchase through Amazon and the Barnes and Noble website.

DISCLOSURE: I received an advance uncorrected proof of Sneaky Fitness to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.


  1. Sounds like there are some fun ideas in that book. Busy moms can use all the help they can get to battle obesity.

  2. Great article!

    Another idea is geocaching! Check out for more info. It really is fun and gets you out with the kids!


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