When I was younger I used to make sure that I always took care of myself, because why not, I didn’t have to worry about anyone else. But after getting married and becoming a mom I quickly realized that caring for myself was easily taking a backseat. However, after 10 years of marriage and 3 kiddos I have realized that if I am not happy, no one in my house is happy. Let’s face it, when I am in a bad mood I am really not a fun person to be around. The joke in my house when my husband gets home and he notices that the house is messy, I look like I haven’t showered in weeks and I am short tempered, he simply says to me, “hey babe why don’t you go for a run?” A run for me is my ME time, and my mood definitely gets better once I return home from a run whether it be 5 minutes or an hour. My girls see a different mom walk through that door once I have worked out.Working out makes me a much happier person and I love that my girls see fitness as something enjoyable rather than dreadful.
Recently my little girls came to me and said they wanted to run a marathon and they wanted to start training. Hmmmm I thought well isn’t that ambitious for a 5 year old, but the excitement on their faces was overwhelming. I took each of them out separately, I didn’t want any competition between the two and wanted them to just enjoy their first training run. My first daughter came out in athletic gear and was ready to go strong, she made it 1.65 miles without stopping and talked the entire way. Then it was time for my second daughter, who walked outside in her pajamas and said I’m ready to go. She too ran 1.65 miles and couldn’t have been more proud of herself.
That night we signed them up for the Color run, we thought this would be a great way for them to still run but have a blast from all of the excitement. I love that they made a goal for themselves, did it in their own way and happily crossed the finish line of their first 5K (a marathon for them) was something I will remember forever.
I write this post because sometimes fitness is seen in a negative and treacherous way. When we are tired we say things like, I have to go to the gym, I hate to run, I can’t lift that weight etc. But it is important to realize that when we are saying these words we are helping shape what our kids think of fitness.
Here are 3 tips that I have seen help my kids to have fun in fitness:
- Do it with them: Have a dance party in the kitchen, it is fabulous cardio as well as a blast!
- Turn it into a game: Set up an obstacle course in the backyard, run a lap, 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 push ups and time them, then you go and see who goes faster. Kids love friendly competition.
- Let them do it their own way: If they are moving and smiling then they are enjoying fitness. Remember my 5 year old trained for a “marathon” in her pjs but she had a gigantic smile while doing it.
Enjoy the sweat and memories!