Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kids and Working Out

About 20 months (May 2011) ago I made a commitment to better take care of my body by working out on a regular basis.  I'm happy to say that I've kept that commitment and working out is now an important part of my life.  I've mentioned this before in terms of reading books, but as parents, if we want our kids to value the importance of something, your kids need to see you doing that something.  In the book example, if you want your kids to value the importance of reading books, you need to read books with them and your kids need to see you reading books.  Watching you will pass that value along.

The same is true for working out and taking care of your body.  Now, young children really shouldn't be working out, especially with weights, but by watching you work out, your children will begin to understand the importance of working out when they are older.  I'm big into the P90X and Insanity workouts.  Both of my daughters will often come up to me while working out and try to reproduce some of the cardio (non-weight) moves.  It's really quite funny watching them do butt kicks and high knees!

A collection of some of my workout gear.

The other day my 5 year old asked me why I work out.  I had to think about this for a few minutes.  I told her that I work out to make sure I have healthy, strong muscles, and that it helps me feel better.  I did not tell her that part of the reason I work out is that I want to look better.  Don't tell your child that looking better is part of the reason for working out.  That can lead to an obsession over looks and potentially lead to eating disorders.  She asked if she needed to work out too.  I told her no, because she has recess at school which is a form of working out.  Daddy doesn't have recess at work, so he needs to work out at home.  It was an interesting conversation and I was really impressed with her inquisitiveness.

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