‘Counting On’: Do the Duggars Exercise?

The Duggar family gets a lot of flack for their diet. Members of the Counting On clan have been slammed for eating meals that are heavy on processed ingredients like canned soup, and they’ve made no secret of their love of fast food chains like Chick-fil-A. Yet despite a diet that doesn’t always look nutritionist approved (dad Jim Bob’s favorite food is tater tot casserole), some members of the Duggar family do make an effort to eat healthy. 

Duggar Family
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Joy-Anna Duggar has talked about working with a health coach to learn how to “use food as fuel” and lose weight after giving birth to her son Gideon. And Jinger Duggar has embraced “clean eating,” cooking up veggie-focused meals and sharing the results on Instagram. 

Eating a balanced diet is important, but what about that other element of staying healthy — getting enough exercise? Though they don’t talk about it a lot, there’s evidence that at least some of the Duggars are also into working out.  

The Duggars have been known to hit the gym

It’s possible that going to a gym is a Duggar family no-no, given the rules men have to follow about not looking at women dressed in suggestive or immodest outfits. But the Duggars have a way around that. In a 2016 episode of Counting On, Joseph Duggar and his brother-in-law Ben Seewald showed off their home gym, with Ben offering some tips on how to safely lift weights. Ben’s wife Jessa Duggar and his sister-in-law Joy-Anna have even been spotted working out in the gym. 

And not all members of the family shun the idea of working out in public. In a 2015 episode of 19 Kids and Counting, Michelle Duggar hit Planet Fitness with an old friend, who gave her some workout tips. In the episode, the mom of 19 also talked about her past struggles with bulimia and her efforts to teach her own kids better habits. 

Like a lot of people, Michelle Duggar has admitted she sometimes struggles to find the motivation to work out. When that happens, she turns to her faith, saying she knows God wants her to care for herself. “I don’t want to get up at 6 in the morning and get on the elliptical, but I take myself off the throne and put Jesus on the throne,” she told Today.

Anna Duggar gave herself a fitness challenge for 2019 

Anna Duggar — who is married to Josh Duggar — has also made a commitment to getting healthy. Earlier this year, she shared that she’d challenged herself to walk at least 50 miles per month.

Anna hit her goal in February, walking about 3 miles every day. In an Instagram post, she said she’d used the “busy mom excuse” to avoid being more active, but after seeing the progress some friends had made, she decided to give it a try

Jinger Duggar has talked about working out 

In a recent Instagram Q&A with her husband Jeremy Vuolo, Jinger Duggar also talked about her work out habits. Before she got married, she worked out occasionally with weights and also enjoyed outdoor activities and playing a game called broomball with her family. Now, she makes it a habit to exercise every day. 

“I really enjoy working out,” she said. “In the mornings I really enjoy getting up and getting a workout in. I just feel so much better after I do it.”