Mother-daughter fitness activities

Partner up for mother-daughter exercise to stay fit, and stay close


Shared passions build strong bonds

Danielle Campbell, 21, and Kathy Campbell, 50, Courtenay, B.C.

On calm summer evenings, Kathy and Danielle Campbell ditch the dinner dishes and slip their kayaks into the Pacific Ocean to go for a paddle for an hour or two. From their home on the east coast of Vancouver Island, they cruise along the shoreline or out to a nearby island. “After a long day of work, it’s such a good way to relax and watch the sea life,” says Danielle, a University of Victoria student studying microbiology. “We often see seals popping up around us!”

She and her mom, Kathy, an administrator at an orthodontic practice, are no strangers to active outings. Over the years, they’ve biked, hiked, skied, competed in triathlons and taken a variety of fitness classes. “Exercise is just part of our family life,” says Kathy, who also bikes with her husband Jay, and runs with her 20-year-old daughter Paige when she’s home from military college.


The kayaking outings have led to greater core and upper body strength, which both Kathy and Danielle were looking to improve. They find their weekly hour-long Pilates class is a good complementary activity because it works similar muscles. Plus, they enjoy spending time together during the summers when Danielle is home from university. “Exercising together is an opportunity to be away from all  the other pressures of life; you can relax and focus on the task at hand and the person you are with,” says Kathy. “Being active together makes our relationship stronger, because we’ve developed mutual respect for each other’s strengths and weaknesses.” Case in point: Kathy loves running (which doesn’t interest Danielle), and Danielle loves swimming (which Kathy really dislikes). After years of trying to interest the other in their favourite sport, both have realized it’s just fine for them not to always be into the same things.


Still, their shared passions add up to a lot of fun. Also on the agenda in the warm months: geocaching, which they started when Danielle was a teenager. Essentially, geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher places a cache (a container, usually containing small decorative pins, stamps and other trinkets) somewhere in the world and then pinpoints its location using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Then he or she puts the coordinates online at the official site, where people can download the coordinates to their hand-held GPS and then go in search of the hidden treasure. Caches are often hidden in  a local park or nature preserve and can take an hour or more to find, so people get good exercise on the trails. There are millions of caches worldwide, and Kathy and Danielle sometimes go on geocaching trips, such as last year’s spring vacation in Palm Springs, Calif.

As Kathy puts it, “No matter what the activity, sweating together means smiling together!”

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