How to Make your Kids Exercise and Eat Well

kids_exercisingOk, you’re going to hate me for this response.

And you may even decide not to read the rest of this post because the last thing you need is someone who already has this stuff down telling you what you already know but just haven’t been able to master quite yet, so “thanks very much for the news flash Mr. Obvious.”, right?

But wait. I have more planned for you that just might deliver you to that critical final stage: making it happen.

First, here’s the hard truth, like it or not. There’s really only one way to get kids to adopt healthy behaviors in a way that they will sustain them long-term:

Practice them yourself.

Positive behaviors embraced by kids are the result of their respect for you and their desire to identify with you. That means you have to not just do it, but mean it.  Did you do what your parents wanted you to do (assuming you had a choice) if you didn’t see them practicing what they preached, or if you thought they were being hypocritical?

So, it really all comes down to this. You need to be Selfish. I capitalized “Self” because I’m referring to your wiser, deeper, higher Self. You know, the one that drops everything to support a friend and gets up early to decorate for your kid’s birthday before they wake. Not the one who gives you permission to let the junk mail (or e-mails) pile up and spends hours on end on social media or video sites. The one that postpones getting a new car to make sure there’s some money in savings in case you get laid off or your business slows down unexpectedly.

That’s you. Maybe not the one you most frequently see in the mirror, but definitely the one you want to show your kids.

And where’s a better start than with yours and your kids’ health? I swear I can’t watch one more season of the Biggest Loser and see a man in tears who is following the same path that killed his dad in his early forties. Or overhear another conversation at a coffee house where a woman is lamenting to her friend that her kids lay around texting and playing video games all summer when one look at her posture and muscle tone tells me the most exercise she gets is getting in and out of her car to go to her coffee date.

So, where are my tips that actually help you take that critical first step on this path?

Here are three:

1. Get rid of every unhealthy speck of food in the house and replace it with fresh produce, lean protein and a few whole grain products (if you choose to do so, many people live great without any grains at all).

2. Plan a weekend active family date. Go to the beach, a local park or for a bike ride or hike. Schedule it and do it, even if you don’t feel like it when the time comes. That’s the little “s” self trying to seduce you back to sloth land. Don’t listen to it.

3. Don’t ask your kids what they want for meals. Give them a choice of two equally healthy options. Period. And hold yourself to the same standard.

That’s it. Think you can do it?

You can.

Learn more about how to get and stay in great shape? Contact Dan at Tri Valley Trainer

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