Moms have a lot of responsibilities and arguably the most important and long lasting one is teaching your children to live a healthy and active lifestyle. That kind of responsibility can seem daunting and overwhelming at times, hopefully these tips can help take the stress off, at least a little.
Here are 5 ways that helped me make fitness a family affair:
Lead by example.
Seems easy enough right? But how often do you find yourself putting everyone else’s needs before your own? If you’re anything like me, the answer is far too often! Now I’m not saying that you should ignore your responsibilities, but you absolutely should make yourself your number one priority. It took me many years to realize that taking care of myself is exactly the opposite of selfish. You cannot fill the cups of others if yours is empty. Show your family that taking care of yourself is what allows you to better care for others. Let them see you making your health a priority. Schedule your workouts as you would any other appointment. AND KEEP IT!
[tweetthis]#Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. ~ Michael J. Fox #quote[/tweetthis]
Make fitness a game.
If I were to look at my kids and say, “Go outside and run” they’d undoubtedly look at me as if I had three heads. “Mom, running is sooooo boring.” But if I were to say to them instead, “Hey guys, I bet I can beat you on WiiFit” you can rest assured they’re going to jump up and try to out play their mama! Another of our favorites is Zumba on the XBox. There’s no way the kiddos want to let mom win so they really work hard and before you know it, you’ve gotten a great workout in and no one is the wiser! Not to mention the added bonus of spending quality time with your kids!
Do it together.
Sending the kids out to play is great, but hitting the great outdoors WITH them will show them that you want to spend time with them and that being active is important for all of you. Go for a family bike ride, find a local park and hit the trails for a walk or run or even just play catch. My kids are begging to run a Spartan Race with me and I think this might be the year they get their wish! They’ve already done a few Color Runs. But no matter what activity you choose, your kids will cherish the memories you make and you’re setting them up for a lifetime of loving fitness because you’ve made being active a happy, positive pursuit.
Get them involved.
If your kids turn their noses up at your attempts to feed them healthy meals let them be in charge of mealtime. I realize that’s a scary proposition, but hear me out. When you’re at the grocery store, let them choose from an assortment of healthy options. “Do you want to try green beans or carrots?” “Would you like peppers or mushrooms?” It’s been my experience, and I’ve heard from lots of other mamas, that when kids are allowed to make the decision makers when it comes to meal time, they’re more likely to eat those healthy foods. The key is not to give them unhealthy options.
Get them into the kitchen
Now that they’ve selected a healthy menu, get them into the kitchen to help prepare the meal. Responsibilities will vary depending on the age and ability of your kiddo, you know your child best so use your best judgement and stay close to help **IF** they need it. Try to stand back and let them be as independent as they can be. Always supervise when they’re cutting or near the stove and make sure you have tools available that are sized for little hands. Kids love to pretend to be grown ups and this is a way that you can foster their creativity with tangible and EDIBLE results.
There are a million different ways to get your family on board but I hope these tips will help you get started and moving in the right direction.
Over To You
What do you do to make fitness a family affair?