How Cathe Helped Get My Teenagers Moving by Kelley

A few years ago I used Cathe DVDs to lose 30 pounds. I have been able to keep off the weight and build muscle. In my pursuit of fitness, my family has benefited as well. I began to experiment with healthier cooking and kept my family educated with the latest nutrition and health information. Over the last year, my two teenagers have joined me in exercising with Cathe as well as reading the weekly newsletter. Although neither of my children struggle with weight problems, I was concerned that they were not getting enough physical exercise. When they were younger they participated in sports and other physical activities. We relocated and finances did not allow us to continue their classes and activities. I ebayed everything that could easily fit into a box, submitted a healthy recipe for Cathe’s newsletter, and was able to purchase extra mats, balls, weights, DVDs and another step bench. The following is an article from the par enting section of a monthly newsletter I write for ladies in my church, and it is all about the importance of getting your children active and how Cathe helped get my teenagers moving!

When I was in high school, a “muffin top” was the crunchy, tasty top of an actual, edible muffin. Now, a “muffin top” can mean that unsightly portion of belly fat that hangs out over a pair of jeans. As little as twenty five years ago, yes I am dating myself, overweight and obese children and adolescents were in the minority. Today, however, this is not the case. All you have to do is take a look around at both adults and youth and you will see a “muffin top” majority.

According to the latest statistics released by the CDC, in 2009-2010, 35.7% of adults and 16.9% of children and adolescents in the United States were classified as obese. Obesity is not just unsightly, but it is dangerous. With obesity comes greater risks for heart disease, diabetes, and a myriad of other health problems.

The causes for obesity are varied, but there is an overwhelming and obvious correlation between lack of exercise and weight gain. Very few adolescents meet the CDC’s recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate activity. According to the CDC, in 2007, only 35% of high school students were participating in adequate amounts of exercise.

Another alarming statistic provided by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicates parental influence is a propensity for obesity. According to AACAP, when one parent is obese, their children are 50% more likely to be obese; if both parents are obese, the likelihood of obesity in their children jumps to a whopping 80%! A parent’s fitness, or lack of fitness in this case, can have great impact on their children and determine if they pass on the “muffin top” and even more.

As a loving parent, you undoubtedly do not desire for your child to suffer from pain and disease caused by inactivity and weight gain. The good news is you have the power to influence healthful living in your child. Here are four ways you can encourage your child to exercise more often.

Find what works for you and set the example. For years my children have watched me try various exercise programs: P90X, Taebo Kickboxing, and Zumba. I finally settled on step aerobics, weight lifting, and kickboxing with DVDs by Cathe Freidrich, and have been using them consistently for almost three years.

I am enthusiastic about fitness and nutrition and involve my children in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. My teenagers listen patiently as I share with them how my latest workout with Cathe, my “trainer,” went or when I tell them what I learn about nutrition from my research or from reading the weekly newsletter from They even get excited for me when a new DVD comes in the mail.

Work out together. Self-motivation is difficult for many people, including children. For several months, my daughter’s friend from her church youth group joined me and my daughter three times a week for cardio and weight training. Our living room was crowded, but it was so much more fun exercising as a group. More importantly, both girls got hooked! When my daughter’s friend moved, I sent her off with a step and some DVDs perfect for beginning and intermediate levels: Low Max, MMA Kickbox and Kick Max. She has told me that she is still exercising and wants more DVDs, especially weight training.

Appeal to their area of interest. My daughter is an avid dancer. She commented to me that she wanted to get her legs higher in her leaps. I suggested she start muscle conditioning. I gave her two Cathe DVD workouts with exercises well suited for strengthening her legs: Turbo Barre and Kick Max. By strengthening the muscles in her quadriceps, she has been able to hold her leg higher and longer in all her pretty ballet moves, including improving her leaps.

Stop making excuses, and find a way! Although a gym membership is financially problematic for us right now, I have not allowed that to keep me from encouraging my children to participate in regular exercise. There are plenty of activities you and your children can do for free, or for a relatively low cost at home. My son is often employed by the neighbors to do yard work, which allows him a great work out. However, when weeds are scarce, I have him join me twice a week for weight lifting. I put in my Cathe DVDs: Total Body Trisets, High Reps, or Body Max 2 for an hour or so of weight training. Having him as a weight lifting partner causes both of us to work harder as we cheer each other on!

Another common excuse is that the exercise is too difficult. Simply start at your fitness level and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercises until you reach a higher fitness level. My daughter and I began with Basic Step and Low Impact Step then progressed from there. One of our favorite step DVDs to do together is Step Moves; we are both able to work at our fitness levels. My daughter only does about 20 minutes and uses one set of risers, while I complete the routine and use two sets of risers. Every little step forward is progress. Be patient with yourself and your children and pretty soon you will all be making leaps forward in your fitness levels.

I have intentionally listed several DVD titles we use from to give you examples to help get you started. Whether you use my suggestions or try your own, the important thing is to get everybody active, starting with you. Your enthusiasm or lack of enthusiasm will impact your children. Modeling an active lifestyle can greatly influence your child to make wise choices as an adult thus avoiding many painful and debilitating physical problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. By pursuing fitness as a family, I hope to leave a legacy of children and grand children in “top health” not sporting “muffin tops.” Join me, get moving and take those kids with you!



The Average Amount of Kids That Get Exercise in the U.S.



NCHS Data Brief ■ No. 82 ■ January 2012 Prevalence of Obesity in the United States, 2009–2010


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Facts For Families Obesity in Children and Teens March 2011 Families/79_obesity_in_children_and_teens.pdf


9 thoughts on “How Cathe Helped Get My Teenagers Moving by Kelley

  1. What a great story! You are doing a wonderful thing for your kids by instilling in them early on the love for fitness and exercise.

    When I was a freshman in high school, I joined the track team and to help get me conditioned before the season began, my mom got a step bench and the Buns of Steel step workout with Marsha Marco (good old 90’s VHS tapes!) and she did it one time through while I watched, then she said “Your turn”. Well, it took practice, but soon I was able to get the hang of the moves and listen for the cueing. That was the beginning of my working out and i was 15. I ran track, did step aerobics and ran during the offseason all though high school. After I graduated, I got really serious about running and did up to 35 miles a week. In 2007, I finally had to quit due to a knee problem and that’s when I found Cathe.

    I’ve done 3 complete 90 day rotations of STS and am currently on #4, I’m still stepping and love all of her step workouts, I kickbox, I do the elliptical and I really love Cross Fire and To The Max. I’m 35 and thankful that my mom introduced me to exercise when I was 14.

    Keep up the good work! Go Cathletes!

  2. Thank you Amanda! It was very kind of you to post. I am encouraged to hear about others that continue with exercise from their highschool years through adulthood. My daughter is 16 and my son 17, I hope they will continue as you have with pursuing fitness. You should consider submitting your own success story. 🙂

  3. What a great story. I too am alarmed at how many overweight young people and even young children there are. What a great role model your kids will be for the next generation. When I was in school (high school grad 1979 ) there was maybe one overweight student in a class. I now look around and it seems normal weight students are a definite minority. Kudos to you for influencing not only your own children, but their friends too.

  4. I took my kids to the beach this summer, and my son was actually teased by some overweight kids for being thin. Wow, times have changed. My son told me later, “well, at least I won’t have to worry about heart disease and diabetes later on!” Good health is the way to go!

  5. @ Heather – How fantastic that your son not only has the intelligence to recognize the fault in those kid’s teasing, but that he also has self-confidence to be able to brush off their comments. Sounds like you are doing well in educating him and building his self esteem. Way to go mom!

  6. Thank you for sharing this amazing story! You’re an awesome Mom and the lessons you’re teaching those kids will nourish them for a lifetime. Hats off to you!

  7. Thank you for sharing! I too have gotten my older daughters (20 & 16) hooked on Cathe and working out. My younger two are not far behind. I even brought my 16 year old along with me on he recent Glassboro road rip.

  8. @ Laura – That is so fantastic! I hope to be able to take my daughter with me on a road trip. Maybe when Cathe comes back to CA. We watched the last road trip together via live stream. Looked like good times.

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