Childhood obesity, underage drinking, smoking, and failure to exercise are all concerns for parents these days.
If you want your kids to adopt a healthier, wiser lifestyle, you are going to have to show them the light.
Children often learn best by example. Lead and they will likely follow.
Liam turns 6 this year, and I know how important it is to help reinforce a healthy active lifestyle, and even though I own a personal training studio, I know this is easier said than done.
How can you set the example and get them off on the right foot if your habits aren’t that great?
Consider taking these steps to put yourself and your family on the road to better health and fitness:
Work closely with a personal trainer – We’re obviously biased, but coaching works, plain and simple, and is a great way to fast-track your fitness.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get yourself and your family in shape, and can be a ton of fun too!
Coming up with a program that will suit the needs of family members of varying ages isn’t easy though – A trainer can help you pick a plan that works for you while encouraging family members to get involved.
You may even want individualized plans that also include family exercise time that’s fun.
Taking bike rides together, walks or even jogs through the park might do the trick.
Make eating right cool – Children are not born with a hatred for fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food choices.
They learn to scorn these things when processed, sugary and salty snacks and treats are introduced into their diets. Reserve the unhealthy snacks and fast foods for occasional treats and make the healthy options the staples in your house.
Also, make sure your family sees you eating healthy foods. If you munch on grapes or nuts in between meals, your children will be more likely to do the same.
At mealtime, present healthy options, but do take the steps to make them tasty and enjoyable. Grilled or broiled lean meats, fresh vegetables, whole grain side dishes and other similar choices are healthy and they can offer a lot of flavor.
Make exercise fun – When it’s your time to exercise, don’t let your kids hear you complain.
If you really can’t handle the idea of a trip to the gym on a particular day, load up the kids in the car and go to a park for a hike. Or, just head to the backyard for a game of Frisbee or something fun.
You’ll know it’s exercise, but your kids won’t.
Work on breaking bad habits – If you smoke or drink too much, take steps to kick these habits.
When children see their parents smoking or drinking, they associate these behaviors with being grown up. They also believe they are acceptable.
Keeping drinking down to low or moderate levels or giving up tobacco can send your children the message you want them to learn.
If you want your family to become healthier and more fitness conscious, you may have to take the first steps.
Some of these steps seem basic, but as we know it’s the basics done well that get long term results.
There is no way to fast track your kids – you have to put in the time and make consistently healthy choices to set a good example.
When your children and even your spouse see you having fun, they are likely to follow your example. And of course, if you need a hand, we can help you get off on the right foot to effect a change for yourself and your family.