Dara Torres Hopes to Teach Tessa the Importance of Exercise

10/02/2008 at 07:00 PM ET

Olympian Dara Torres was well aware that competing in this year’s Beijing Olympics "against athletes who were young enough to be my children" meant that the 41-year-old mom needed an extraordinary workout plan designed especially for older women. While Dara had the ability to "put together a team of experts," she knows that most people can not afford this luxury, but insists that working mom or not, "you can always try to find little ways to do a little bit of exercise each day." Mom to 2 ½-year-old daughter Tessa, the swimmer shares that simple choices to "take the stairs" at work, instead of the elevator, really can make a difference.

As for pregnant women, Dara shares that her pregnancy did not stop her in the least! After finding out she was expecting, Dara says she immediately developed a plan with a trainer outlining weights and routines she was able to do during those important nine months. Aside from the gym, exercise was key for Dara, who reveals she "swam the same day I delivered Tessa, before I went into labor!" Not letting any obstacles stand in her way when it comes to staying in shape, Dara — who was back in the pool a week after giving birth — hopes to instill the same healthy choices in her daughter.

"Exercise was very important to me growing up, and I am already trying to teach Tessa how important it is. The funny thing is, she already loves it."

Tessa is Dara’s daughter with partner David Hoffman.

Source: USA Weekend

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Louise on

I find it shocking how obsessive women can be about weightloss and exercising.

Swimming because you feel like it, fine! But teaching your 2,5 year-old daughter how ‘important’ exercising is, is giving her (already) a message: Thou shalst workout! Thou shalst be thin…

Why not let children naturally discover the pleasure of playing outside and moving around.

Sarah on

It’s not like Dara is stick thin (I mean that in a good way!) so I doubt she expects that from her toddler. And I also highly doubt she’s having Tessa swim laps. But unfortunately, childhood obesity is a really big problem in the U.S. So what’s the problem with Dara teaching her daughter that working out can be more fun than watching t.v. all day long? She did say that her daughter loves it and as long as Tessa is happy and healthy, there should be no issue.

The Nanny on

Louise, I respectfully disagree–I took her comments to mean that she was hoping to show her daughter healthy exercise habits, creating a beginning of a healthy lifestyle. I agree with you that there shouldn’t be rigid exercise programs for a 2.5 year olds, but I don’t think Dara was saying she’d implemented that with Tessa. Just how I interpreted the quotes, though 🙂

Melissa on

I met Dara and her adorable daughter this past weekend at the University of Florida vs. Ole Miss game. Her and Ryan Lochte were being honored (along with other UF student Olympians). She carried Tessa the whole time and I mean, up and down the stadium stairs too! It was adorable! Dara isn’t that skinny in person and her daughter was a pro with cameras! I hope I look that good when I am her age! I got some really great pictures of them!

gia on

of course she loves it, she is only 2.5!! most children love to be active & its especially better because you are with mummy. although she is in phenomenal shape, i find her body to be completely unattractive & way too masculine.

emes on

I don’t think it’s healthy to instill the concept of “working out” in your young children, but I do believe it’s absolutely important to teach them about “getting exercise” and being active for the sake of health. For kids, this is about running and playing, not doing intervals on a treadmill or anything like that. Many thin people are still unhealthy, so that isn’t my motivation for encouraging my kids to be active–it’s more about having muscle tone, strong bones and a healthy cardiovascular system. It seems logical to me that teaching your kids about health at an early age may even help to prevent the development of an unhealthy body image later.

DJohnson on

“exercise was key for Dara, who reveals she “swam the same day I delivered Tessa, before I went into labor!” Not letting any obstacles stand in her way when it comes to staying in shape, Dara — who was back in the pool a week after giving birth — hopes to instill the same healthy choices in her daughter.”

lifting weights and exercising up until a day before you deliver is healthy? And exercising a week after is healthy? I wouldn’t say it is. It cannot possibly be good for your body to start exercising a week after giving birth.

brooke on

It’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle and eating well and exercise are part of it. If there was more of that, we wouldn’t have such obese or overweight people and so many overweight children too. I never heard of dara or a fan, but good for her

MB on

i don’t think we can really judge on the exercise she did after birth. i mean, she’s an olympian! what is fine for her is probably not fine for everyone else, and she has several doctors monitoring everything she does. and what does “back in the pool” mean anyway? it doesn’t mean, necessarily, that she’s doing a hard workout.

she also doesn’t talk about weight loss. she simply talks about being healthy. i am almost finished with my masters in public health and it is SO important to teach children young that exercise is fun and important. good habits start early.

DJ on

As someone who worked out the day I delivered my daugther, I find fault in those of you who are looking to interpret Dara’s quotes for yourselves.
If you are a person who works out prior to pregnancy (and she obviously worked out for years and years), it is dangerous for you to up and stop. Dara did not say that she was swimming at Olympic pace on the day of Tessa’s arrival. She has commented in NUMEROUS interviews following the birth of Tessa that she was most comfortable in the water during her pregnancy because it took the weight off of her legs and knees.
Having met Dara a few times for interviews needed for my job and seeing her out at the park with her daughter, I can truly believe that she is making “exercise” fun for Tessa. We have met at the playgrounds with our children, and Dara and Tessa are running around and laughing.
Trying to read into someone’s comments when there is not a full interview is dangerous. Dara is not saying that she has Tessa out running sprints or doing the stairs. Exercise for a child could be something as simple as a game of tag or chasing balls or even swimming in the pool with Mom.
I find it bizarre that anyone is trying to critique an athlete’s idea of exercise for her child. …..ummmm!?

Susan on

How about showing the little girl how to play video games and force feeding her pop-tarts?

Exercise is a good thing. I can’t really expound on that any more eloquently.

I may be sarcastic (yep), but I am also sincere. Dara Torres has her daughter’s interest at heart and she is simply teaching her about a healthy lifestyle. I am glad my parents did the same.

Lorus on

Exercise is a good thing! It can be anything from dancing, walking, playing tag, etc. It’s not like she has her daughter on a hardcore regime.