Growing up, fitness wasn’t really a huge priority in my house. I took dance and horseback riding lessons, which were great, but there wasn’t any dedication to regular workouts or exercise.
I don’t know if times were different or if my specific household just didn’t care. Sure, we did walks and bike rides, but I can’t remember anyone ever going to the gym or watching workout videotapes (ah, the VHS days). It’s certainly not a judgment, but times were different, and fitness with the family just didn’t seem to be on the radar.
Because of my long-time battle with obesity and eating disorders, I had to work incredibly hard to find a way to incorporate health and wellness into my life. Now that I am married with a child, I believe it’s even more important to build fitness into our lives in a sustainable and enjoyable way.
Lead by example.
Leading by example is a key tenant of parenting. No matter what else is going on, we both want little man to see that we are committed to wellness and health. While Mr PugRunner and I don’t always run together, we do demonstrate our ability to care out time for fitness, regardless of how early we may have to wake up or how we have to shuffle our schedules. The hope is that he will also see fitness as a regular activity rather than a hardship (and he is already talking about joining 9Round with us when he turns 12, so maybe it’s working!)
Beef up regular outings.
When I used to work an office job, some tips for staying active included things like using the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a walk at lunch or parking super far away in the parking lot. I can apply this to family outings with things like taking a family walk (Pokemon Go is a great motivator) or riding bikes to breakfast or lunch. It’s a great way
The simple act of getting outside is essential to staying fit as a family. Little man loves getting out in the neighborhood on his skateboard or bike and plays pickup games of basketball and soccer with his buddies. We also love checking out parks and hiking spots, locally and while traveling. It’s a great way to stay active as a family and also to see the country (and hopefully world).
Try new things.
No matter what we do or where we go, I love introducing something new. We have gone swimming at new bodies of water, hiked new trails and taken on new activities, like skiing and nighttime kayaking. The plan is to show how fitness can be a destination and to also share a love for adventure.
Compete as a family.
You know we love our family races! Both little man and Mr PugRunner pick and choose races that we can all run together. I confess that with school and extracurriculars, it can be hard getting everyone on board with training, but everyone is able to knock out a mile or three on the fly, so we make it work. Sometimes we stick together as a unit; other times we compete against each other. Every time we have a blast!
I’m hopeful that by introducing and exposing little man (and Mr PugRunner) to the activities and adventures I love, it will create a lifelong fitness routine for him in the future.
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How do you stay fit with your family?
Was your family fitness-minded or is your current activity routine something you implemented on your own?