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Modeling a healthy lifestyle and teaching your children to have fun with fitness is just as important as teaching them how to eat correctly.
Are you a good athlete? Do you sign up for and then train for 10k races or longer distance triathlons? Do you go to the gym regularly? Is vigorous exercise a routine part of your life?
I think a lot of you answered yes to a lot of those questions.
So then I’ll ask a follow-up question…if you have children - how are you involving them in your healthy lifestyle? Are you focused so much on yourself that you’re not including your children in your training/exercise? Have you “closed off” that part of your life?
Are you talking to your children about eating fruits and vegetables? Do you include them in some of your training sessions? Or sign them up for short, fun, and kid-appropriate events?
I think I was guilty of this for the last several years. While my wife has always modeled healthy eating for our children, I don’t think that we - collectively as a couple - did all that we could to include our children in our fitness routines.
Over the last month, our kids have been competing in the Healthy Kids Running Series near our home. It’s a series of short races (the longest distance is a mile) for kids from 3 years old through 8th grade. My son, 5, ran the 1/2 mile and my daughter, 8, ran the mile. Both of them did very well and we were extremely proud of their effort each week during their races.
As our children prepared for each race, we encouraged them to race hard and have fun - and they did it! Both kids raced against older children so we were not focused on them beating the other children, but simply on their own effort and improving their times each week.
Not only was this a fun event for our whole family, but it also introduced our children to healthy competition in a friendly and fun environment. Both of our children have - in the week since - talked about how much fun they had during the races.
My wife and I were joined by so many other awesome parents at this series of races, and we will continue to look for neat opportunities for our children to compete.
This summer as you prepare for your 5k, 10k, sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, I want to encourage you to look for opportunities for your children as well. Have fun and teach them to enjoy fitness the way that you do.
Talk to you next month.
If there is anything society has come to realize over the last century, it is that women are just as powerful, smart, ambitious, and capable as men. And while society as a whole is still catching up as far as true equality, the facts are evident when you look at some of the most incredible and influential people today.
When it comes to fitness, however, men and women are not the same. The natural, physiological differences necessitate unique approaches to achieve optimal results. While the fundamental science behind attaining a shredded, lean physique is basically the same for both sexes, the exact steps and application require careful consideration.
One thing I've learned is that injuries can be great teachers. There are so many lessons to be learned from the injuries we experience. They force us to slow down and evaluate our bodies on a deeper level. Like many, I'm guilty of sometimes taking my healthy days for granted. When we pick up an injury, we're suddenly motivated to learn everything we can about that specific injury. We're also dedicated to the necessary rehab it will take to overcome the injury and strengthen our weak areas.
As with many injuries, I've learned there are no "quick fixes" for my stubborn Achilles. Over the years, I've also learned there are no "get fit quickly" schemes.