I don’t have a gym membership; I just work out at home. I use the treadmill, the kettlebells, and weights. Lately I’ve increased my fitness activity and my boys have noticed. They see my hard work and they cheer me on. It has seemed to light a spark in them as well. They want to be active and healthy too. My five-year-old will get up in the morning and ask, “Can we rip-it tonight after you get home from work?” (Rip-it is Jillian Michaels Get Ripped). He seems to like week 2 because “Shelly looks beautiful in yellow.” Three minutes in and he’s already needing his “bean break,” and he goes to the fridge for a kidney bean.
Now they may not have the correct form or keep up, but we have fun. They are not sitting around on their butts watching TV or constructing Legos. They’re moving. They like to call it family fitness night. They even ask to get on the treadmill for a little while (at low speed of course). Then they proceed to take their shirts off and stand in front of the mirror and flex, like so…
One thing that has caught me by surprise is that all of this “fitness” has them really thinking about what they eat. My husband and I explain to them that food is fuel. We need nourishing foods to fuel our bodies, our muscles, our bones, our brains. A few months ago I posted about getting my kids to eat more foods, a challenge in many homes. Well they have. It was hard at first and little one is still protesting, but once they realized I meant business, it got a little easier. Logan has been most surprising. He is now happily eating carrots, peas, and corn. He’s tried everything I’ve given him…even that crazy green stuff, kale. The big kicker came yesterday when he drank V8, and then said he would like it in his lunch. Not V8 fusion fruit, but the straight low sodium vegetable juice! Sorry, but I got really excited about it. Almost as excited as I got when Finn ate spinach that was mixed up in this chicken and pasta. The kid hasn’t eaten a vegetable since he was two.
As a parent we have a HUGE influence on our children. We’re the people they are modeling their lives after. There are days when I wish I could escape and go to a gym for an hour or so, but I think fitness at home…it suits my family just fine. I work full-time and this gives us some fun family time together while benefiting the body (and my head).
And for you parents out there that are looking for a great book to help teach your kids about foods that are good for you, I always recommend The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food. My boys LOVE it!