Updated: Nov 11, 2021
I know what you're thinking, it's hard enough to motivate myself to exercise, now I have to drag my kids along too?! I'm here to tell you, your kid could be the best fitness trainer you've ever had. Sure it's going to take some technique and you might have to prime the pump a little, but given the right perspective, you'll find your family fitness flow in no time- and you might even like it too!
You're a Hero
Your kids are always watching you. They look to you as their role model for becoming an independent and successful human being. Your children will follow what you DO way more often than they follow what you say. My clients are often amazed at how incorporating healthy habits in their own lives leads to their children enthusiastically imitating the same healthy behaviors. When your child sees you facing and overcoming physical activity challenges, they will be inspired to do the same. As your child watches you, they will gain confidence in themselves and be willing to try new things with you and independently. This process is empowering for both you and your child. Don't be surprised if after a week or so of taking regular nature walks on your own, your child asks to join in too.
Energy is Infectious
Why do kids seem to have boundless energy? There are many reasons for this phenomenon, one is, they tend to live in the moment. This is why they often experience less anxiety, worry and stress than we do as parents.
Some experts say that one hour of extreme worry can be as exhausting as 8 hours of physical labor!! Playing with your child can be a powerful boost to your own mental health and well being. When you join with your child in playing games like jump rope, catch, jumping on the trampoline or dancing, these carefree moments combined with the invigorating influence of your child's laughter will have you feeling as energetic as if you were a child too.
Love is More Powerful than Hate
A wise trainer once said, "we work out because we love our bodies, not because we hate them". Many trainers have found that positive reinforcement leads more effectively to continuing a behaviour than negative reinforcement. Positive motivation can be extrinsic, like a getting an award for good performance, or intrinsic, like feeling good after completing a race. Negative reinforcement can take the form of guilt or punishment for poor performance. The joy you feel when you spend time with your loved ones will have you looking forward to participating in physical activities together. Nothing could be more motivating than the excitement and wonder you see on your child's face as you complete a challenge, it will have you reaching higher to achieve more than you ever thought possible.