Ever since my children were babies, they have consistently observed me working out. This is not surprising given my son was 18 months old when I started to prioritize exercise in my life. At this stage of my journey, my children usually see me in my bedroom as they are waking up for school each morning sweating my ass off to Jillian Michaels or Shawn T. They see me pushing my limits of comfort as I progress through kickboxing, yoga, high intensive interval training, and strength training. They see how I have been able to make exercise a part of my daily routine around the housework, cooking, driving, and working 40 hours per week.
When I was young and had a weight problem, I had distorted thoughts that people who were of normal weight did not need to exercise or watch what they ate. It was not until I was a young adult when I realized that was not true. Since my children have seen my body transform in front of their eyes, I think they understand how my workouts and eating habits have contributed to these changes. I am happy I am able to model this for them.
What a difference 10 years makes!
On the weekends, we try to do family activities to get all of us moving when possible. In the spring and summer months, we regularly go out on family hikes. Our son started running with us outside and he even completed a couple of 5K races last year. In the winter months, we like to use our gym equipment stored in our basement. Our son uses the treadmill while my husband uses the spin bike. My daughter loves joining in by practicing her gymnastic jumps on her toy trampoline.
Night Nation Run – Summer 2016
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With winter in full swing, I am very much looking forward to the weather getting warmer so we can go on more organized family bike rides. Now that both of my children have mastered riding 2 wheel bikes and we now have bike racks on my car, there is nothing stopping us from hitting some of our local scenic bicycle trails. I especially look forward to riding on paved over train tracks.
Through all of this, it is my hope for my children to understand how important exercise is in feeling great. When they are grown ups, it would be great for intentional exertion to always be a natural part of their routines. It would be even better if they found physical activity to be fun and a way to connect with others. Not only will this help them maintain optimal health, but it will be a great way for them to relieve stress, build their confidence, work cooperatively with others, and make great life-memories. As I learned along the way, without health, we have nothing else!