It's Wellness Month at Childcare Network!

By: Carla Gridley

iStock-486895162.jpgThis week we're focusing on Physical Fitness.

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 for the adult, as 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 their children will be too. However, parents who eat healthily and exercise with their children on a regular basis are teaching them many valuable lessons.

Certified health coach and mother of two Pam Howard agrees. “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 fantastic for super-busy parents who wouldn’t get as much exercise as they need without incorporating their kids in the process.”

It is imperative that families make time to exercise together so that it eventually becomes part of their routine. Dr. Marc Tinsley describes his experience with this issue. “When I speak and consult with people about health and fitness, many people look at their family obligations as an obstacle to exercise instead of an opportunity. One of the main problems is that people associate exercise with a gym or equipment. I tell people to think ‘outside the barbell.’ Fitness isn’t about sweat, six-packs, and sex appeal; it’s about having enough energy to do your activities of daily living safely and effectively.”

Getting fit as a family does not have to be very time-consuming or complex; it can be fun and creative.

Encouraging Family Fitness & Healthy Habits By Len Saunders, MA; 
Find more information about raising fit kids on Len’s website.