We have all heard the benefits of having an exercise partner- it keeps you motivated, right!! Why not add your family into the mix? The childhood obesity rates are staggering. I heard a statistic a few weeks ago that says the average kid in America spends 7.5 hours in front of a screen! More kids than ever before are being diagnosed with Type II diabetes- which is also known as "adult onset diabetes", and these kids are not adults yet! A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest dangers our kids in the United States are facing. Remember, what you are doing to get and stay healthy is not some fad diet- it is a lifestyle change- something you are going to do forever. Your family needs to be a part of that. My friend and I run trails a couple of times a week and we will see this man out there running, and he has to be in his 80's at least. I want to be doing that when I'm 80 and you should, too. The best way to ensure you are still agile and healthy when you are older is to do something about it right now. If you don't use it you will lose it. This means that if you don't use your muscles and your cardiovascular system, you will lose your ability to do it. That's why retirement can be dangerous for a lot of people. They go from moving around everyday to a sedentary lifestyle and before you know it their health is spiraling downward and now they are having a hard time just getting around. We have to be deliberate in our health and make it a priority. What a great thing to teach our children now, so that they carry it throughout their life.
So, what can you do with your kids? Take them on bike rides, hikes, to the gym with you, play sports together, etc. Make it a requirement that they do this, not a suggestion. It will grow on them and they will come to love it- they just have to get started first. Limit all screen time. There are just so many different screens that our kids sit in front of now- put a limit on all of them. You will be doing your kids a favor with this. Especially with summer time- get your kids outside, soaking up some great vitamin D from the sun, and making their bodies stronger. Add some activity to everyday and you will start to see a change in yourself and your family. Make eating healthy something that you enjoy so that your kids will want to take part in that, also- don't show them that it's a chore or boring or something you dislike. And, what better way to grow your family's closeness than to spend more time doing things together!