Health and fitness are not necessarily a natural passion for everyone however they are essential for overall high quality of life. It has been said that cultivating a habit as a child is easier than doing so as an adult and doing this with health and wellness is no exception. Creating opportunities within your family unit to learn about, practice, and discuss all things health and fitness will create a commonplace mentality so building habits feels more natural.
Health and Fitness For Your Kids
Especially as a parent, it is important to understand that your children are watching and learning from your every move.
It is not simply what you are saying to them but also what you are not saying. Building an environment where they can clearly observe you caring about your personal health will entice them to want to do the same.
Being a good example is one of the best things you can do to set your family up for success.
Build From Within
Typically, when the conversation of health and fitness is brought up people go straight towards the physical. This is an obvious and natural mentality but be sure that you are having conversations in your family about mental and emotional health as well.
From day one your kids feed off your vibes, words, and actions and it is important that you recognize how these things make them feel as well as how you handle mental and emotional distresses.
Although eighteen years may seem like a long time, it really is not the largest chunk of a person’s life. However, the first eighteen years are what builds your child’s foundation for who they will be as an adult.
Making it comfortable for your kids to talk about mental health with you will set them up for being able to do so once they are out of the house.
Leaving for college is a great example of this. Once your child begins college, they will now be troubleshooting their emotions independent from the daily routine there are used to. Telehealth is a great example of the many resources offered to college students who want or need this type of support.
You can review a guide on the importance of mental health services on college campuses with your kids before they even apply. This is a great way to ease any anxieties they may have about this transition.
Giving them the chance to understand that just because they may be physically leaving their network does not mean they will be removed from it. This can also be the gentle push of encouragement that your child needs to feel comfortable being on his or her own for the first time.
Get Them Involved
Making your kids and your whole family a part of the process can not only create an opportunity to learn about healthy living, but it can double as bonding opportunities as well. Even from a young age, there are ways to involve kids in the day-to-day elements of a health-minded lifestyle. Grocery shopping is a great example.
Maybe you enjoy grocery shopping alone and the thought of bringing your kids along does not make sense for your schedule, no problem. Allow them to be a part of creating your weekly menu and your grocery list.
Maybe one night a week, or month, each child gets to pick the family meal with the only requirement being that it must be healthy.
This can help develop a sense of responsibility in your kids and let them start to learn what they do and do not like while always keeping in mind that good nutrition matters.
Food preparation can also feel like something that is not as efficiently done with a child’s involvement but if you can be flexible and patient and allow your kids to help every now and then it will pay off in spades as far as developing their healthy habits.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Getting your kids up and moving around in the digital era can be an uphill battle but the daily movement is a necessity for people of all ages. Find ways to encourage your kids to move their bodies by making it a family affair.
Maybe once or twice a week you take a family walk after dinner, all together. Or perhaps you have a tradition of doing one physical activity together every weekend. This does not have to be done on a grand scale, the most important thing is consistency.
Putting some of the glory in the hands of your children can encourage them to enjoy physical fitness as a hobby, not just a necessity. Research health and fitness apps for kids that they can use to track progress, learn about wellness, and even play games that provide a healthy edge.
Teaching them about creating and achieving their own goals instead of being forced to follow your agenda will help develop their personal relationship with their own healthy lifestyle.