I remember hearing this statement growing up! I always took it to mean that each child was an individual and would choose their behavior as appropriate to their personalities. As I work with young people, encouraging them to make fitness a part of their lives, I continue to find this to be true.
I grew up in Colorado and my family was an active one – hiking, biking, swimming, wrestling. I took to it all and fitness plays an important part in my life. I enjoy working out, and I enjoy helping others with their fitness goals. My brothers and sisters are all active in some sort of fitness or the other; it’s interesting how each of us has found our own way. None of us do exactly the same routine, but we all share a commitment to health.
Then I married the lovely Leslye, who is also a fitness person. Together, we had two sons who we love very much. Both were raised by parents modeling the fitness lifestyle. Our kids were introduced to biking, outside sports, hiking and workouts at Personally Fit; you tend to share what you enjoyed as a kid with your kids, don’t you think?
One has chosen to continue to make it a part of his life, and the other has not (yet…) As parents, it is important to teach the behaviors that will keep you healthy and fit, but as the saying goes, kids will be kids. You can’t force someone into a lifestyle of fitness any more than you can dictate that they like a certain kind of music, or read a specific genre of books.
But what you can do is give your kids as many options as possible to choose a healthy lifestyle. From formal exercise to healthy eating, and really, just incorporating some movement into everyday life, you do what you can to set them up for success. And it’s not exercising per se. For kids, formal fitness programs also teach them social skills and can improve self-esteem.
Will they always choose fitness?Maybe not, but at least if they learn how to exercise properly, safely, and effectively, you’re giving them their best shot to make fitness a part of their life forever.
And you don’t have to do it all yourself! At Personally Fit, we offer Youth/Sports Conditioning classes year round; summer classes start June 9th. We take a positive approach to fitness and are excited to work with your kids.