4 Lessons Fitness Can Teach Your Kids

January 28, 2016

As adults, we know that we need to exercise in order to keep ourselves healthy, but how does that affect our children? You’d be surprised. By staying physically active, your children will be more likely to exercise as well. In addition, children who regularly witness their parents exercising will also gain some important life lessons.

Setting Short- & Long-Term GoalsRES Week 4

Exercise is a great way to teach your children how to set short- and long-term goals. For example, if you want to get active, you will set a short-term goal of walking every day for 15 minutes with the long-term goal of being able to run a mile every morning. Sticking to and reaching these goals will show your children how to set and keep goals to reach the result they want.

The Value of Hard Work

One lesson your children can learn from you when you exercise is the value of hard work. When you create a goal, stick to it even if it seems hard or impossible. For example, if you need to lose weight don’t give up halfway or become lazy–work hard to reach your goal and stay positive. When your children regularly see you work hard to reach your goals, they will learn the value of working hard and not giving up when the going gets tough.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

When children grow up in a household that eats healthy, fresh foods and stays active, they will be more likely to continue that healthy lifestyle on their own. Just remember that you shouldn’t force healthy foods and omit unhealthy foods altogether. It will make forbidden foods more glamorous.

In addition, if you’re addicted to healthy foods it can have negative consequences for your children, like food phobias and healthy food addiction. Teach your kids that while eating healthy is good, it’s okay to treat yourself every now and then, and only in moderation.

Building a Confident Body Image

While exercising is healthy, you must make sure that you don’t overdo it. Maintaining a healthy weight is important when it comes to physical fitness, but children can get the wrong idea and believe it’s purely for appearance. This thought can be damaging to the way they perceive themselves, especially if you also have that attitude.

Make sure you have a healthy exercise mindset and aren’t obsessed with it–it could be a sign of exercise addiction, which can be damaging to both you and your children. Explain to your children that staying physically fit is not solely for the purpose of looking good, but that a healthy body is necessary for a healthy life. When you are comfortable with your own self-image, your children will see that looks aren’t everything and become comfortable and confident in their own self-image.

Next Up: Raise a Healthier Kids with These 5 Steps