by Ed Arntson May 24, 2017 2 min read
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.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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