***This was originally written as a Guest Blog post for Momstown.ca.***
With the New Year upon us, it seems that the online world has exploded with ‘Top 5 Ways to Get Fit’ posts. This is not one of those posts.
You see, I believe the way to get fit is to be fit as a child and then stay fit as an adult. Huh? Yep, that’s my theory: it’s easier to stay fit than it is to get fit.
Every year, people all over the world make resolutions to get fit on January 1st. Often, these resolutions hold true for a month or two, and then the ‘get fit’ goal slips by the wayside. This is made quite clear in a big-box gym parking lot that is full in January and empty in March. I’m not saying you shouldn’t resolve to get fit, in fact, I hope that you do. Write it down, broadcast it, tell your friends. Make it your goal. But I hope that rather than saying ‘My resolution is to get in shape’, you say ‘My resolution is to change my lifestyle to make being in shape a normal part of life for my children’. See the difference?
So on Sunday morning, go for a run with your children. Put them in a stroller or on a bike and let them see you sweat. Let them see you get winded and take walk breaks and drink water. Let them see how good you feel afterwards. Take them for walks and swims and skates. Take them sledding and canoeing and hiking. Take them to high-school basketball games, community road races, and charity hockey games so that they can see other people being active and enjoying it. Make exercise a part of their life rather than a chore on their to-do list.
Normalcy is grown in childhood and accepted in adulthood. Change your normal.