Parents who exercise with their children are not only teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle, they are also reinforcing the family bonds and creating wonderful family traditions. It’s a fantastic break and physical outlet for super-busy parents who wouldn’t get as much exercise as they need without incorporating their kids in the process.
By setting the basic foundations of life, parents are the number one source affecting the way children feel about living a healthy lifestyle.
Children innately realize that Mom and Dad are their educators, mentors, heroes, supporters, and role models throughout their lives. This is a colossal responsibility as an adult; children believe that most behaviors by parents are acceptable actions, whether good or bad. The bottom line: children are watching their parents’ every move, mirroring their every action; if a parent is sedentary, there is a good chance your children will be too. However, parents who eat healthily and exercise with their children on a regular basis are teaching them many valuable lessons.
A daily exercise program is essential for every child’s normal growth and development. The benefits of exercise are endless, and go deeper than just fighting heart disease and other adolescent risk factors for poor health.
Children who exercise do better academically and learn how to reduce stress. In essence, adults in the household are showing children a healthy way to relieve stress and improve their thinking while parents demonstrate that we practice what we preach. Children are always observing their parents and picking up on their body language, not just their words.
It is imperative that families make time to exercise together so that it eventually becomes part of their routine. Think of a family exercise session not as an obstacle to finding the time to exercise instead of as an opportunity to bond with your child and instill lifelong habits, while having fun together.
Exercise does not have to consist of a gym or equipment. After all, fitness isn’t about sweat, six-packs, and sex appeal; it’s about having fun and having enough energy to do your activities of daily living safely and effectively.