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10 Things To Teach Your Kids (Or Yourself) About Fitness

May 28, 2014 4 Comments

10371943_711569598908803_8165290089901549042_nIn another month or so my little boy will be turning five! Where in the world does that time go? I’ve loved every stage of his growth from feeding him to watching him crawl to seeing him run to trying to keep up with him, and I know it’s only going to get better. But he’s of the age now where he’s more aware of the world around him outside of school, cartoons, and toys. He understands more of what his daddy does for a living and knows that both his mommy and daddy are exercising, running, or riding. (Mommy swims too!) Brady has the fortunate privilege that his daddy is a fitness professional and what better resource to have right at his disposal let alone two parents that lead an active lifestyle? It got me thinking about what I really want him to understand regarding fitness. Chances are, whether you have children or not, there are probably a few things may be you also need to or should know about fitness and to better understand and appreciate its value. Here are the 10 things I want my son to understand about fitness and perhaps you can share with you and yours

  1. It’s Not a Contest. You exercise regularly for one and one reason only – YOU! That means doing what YOU need to do for YOU to the best of your ability. No one loses out more in the end by not addressing your fitness than YOU! Hold yourself to a high standard and worry less about what everyone else claims to be doing and only what you’re doing.
  2. Like Respect, Fitness is Earned. You were born with the greatest machine on Earth. Take care of it the best you can and if things become hard or turn for the worst, don’t blame it on what you did or did not do. There are literally endless ways to stay fit and take care of yourself. You make your choices and endure the results.
  3. Keep It Fun. As previously stated, there are endless ways to find physical activity and to take care of yourself. Find what you enjoy that keeps you moving and looking forward to, not dreading, the next opportunity. The only best exercise is the one you stick with.
  4. Fitness Is Not A Chore. When we negatively associate things chances are we will always conjure up ways to avoid or say bad things regarding them. At its root, fitness is just about keeping the body moving and while that may seem like work, keeping a positive perspective will go a long way. George Bernard Shaw said it best: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
  5. It’s Called Working Out For a Reason. It’s cliché to say, but if it were easy, everyone would do it. Just because you work out three days a week, take weekends off (as does the diet) hardly classifies you as an “active” person. It requires a lot more than just showing up or going through the motions. It takes a commitment to keep moving forward and not being content with mediocrity.
  6. Exercise Is A Lifestyle, Not An Event. You can’t expect exercise to work for you if you do it in little increments expecting big returns on little to no investment of time. Ignore all the marketing hoopla, pseudoscience, and “experts” who claim to get you more for less. Maintain a consistent healthy lifestyle and it’s much easier to make a bigger shift if necessary.
  7. With Strength Comes Confidence. It’s never about how much you can lift, or how much you can throw. Having strength is having the ability to do the things you need to do in every walk of life without ever feeling like you need help. Real strength is measured by what a man can do, not what he pretends he can do.
  8. It’s A Healthy Stress Reliever. Having a bad day and need a release? There’s nothing better than the release from physical exertion can offer without compromising other areas of your health. You may even surprise yourself with just how hard you can let it all go.
  9. Appreciate Fitness From The Inside Out. Don’t stress over numbers like weight or inches until you first put into perspective what it is you’re trying to accomplish and you’ve made a 110% commitment to that end. It will serve you better knowing that you’re doing the right thing despite what some lab rat or popular media would have you believe.
  10. Fitness Breeds Life. When you take care of yourself, you’ll feel great and when you feel great, you’ll make excuses for nothing. You’ll feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. You can’t put that in a pill; you can’t “fake” your way through. I once had someone challenge me to feel like them for a day to which I responded they should have a taste of what it feels like to be me for just five minutes. End of discussion.

Fitness is my profession and it has always been a part of my life. Fitness to me is the rule, not the exception but I find the strength every day to train smarter, eat well, and be better every day for my little boy in the hopes that someday it will be him trying to keep up with me. I will continue to lead by example and he will know fitness is not just another activity – it’s what we do.

 

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

Comments (4)

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  1. Tom C says:

    To all of those people who thinks “kids” shouldn’t workout, you should read this. Jeff Harrison knows what he’s talking about. Great article.”

  2. Pam R says:

    Excellent article and wisdom!

  3. Elaine M says:

    Love this one!!!!

  4. Michelle H says:

    This is great! We shared with our students today and I’m going to share with the running team I coach.

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