So think about this: if you’ve been having a hard time getting started on a fitness program because you just haven’t made yourself a priority, then do it for your kids, your family members, or your friends around you. Yeah yeah, I’m not here to do a “save the children” rant, but to point out that sometimes you can step up and set a positive example for your friends and loved ones.
Research has consistently shown that overweight parents are significantly likely to have overweight children. That’s not surprising, since kids will typically eat what their parents eat, or what their parents feed them. And if the parents are making poor food choices, have unhealthy eating habits, and are eating junk food, fast food, and living a sedentary lifestyle, then their kids probably are too. Kids learn a lot of habits from their environment; especially their parents and family members.
So what kind of role model are you right now? What kind of role model would you like to be?
If you start eating healthier, then it’s likely going to trickle down to your family too. If you’re exercising, looking better, and feeling more energetic, people around you will notice and ask what you’re doing. Use this as an opportunity to motivate yourself to improve the quality of your life and that of those around you.
Now’s the time. Start eating better, exercising regularly, and help set a positive example for your family members and friends. Being fit and healthy, and eating smart will pay dividends for you and for them, and will help them establish good habits for the rest of their lives.
Involve your kids in your fitness activities. That doesn’t mean you have to take them to the gym or fitness center to lift weights – just get in the habit of going for regular bike rides or walks outside, or take them swimming at the local pool or YMCA, shoot some hoops or play tennis at a nearby park or indoor facility, or whatever activities might be in your area. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute in the gym working out at the expense of those around you. Do something outside, or play inside. Involve your kids, family members, or friends. Have fun and be a positive influence on the people around you.
At work, my colleagues have noticed my physical transformation and see me eating healthy and avoiding all the junk that people bring into the lunchroom every day to share. We have so many overweight employees that my organization has paid to have Weight Watchers come in to meet with staff weekly to help them manage their weight and be healthier. Yesterday my HR dept had me to do a “lunch and learn” presentation to staff about healthy eating and exercise. It was well attended and I was able to talk about the triad of good nutrition, cardio and resistance training that JD promotes. I educated them on the effects of sugar and flour on the body. And I answered a lot of questions about how I did it. Afterwards I had a number of people stop by my office to tell me how inspired they are to make healthy changes in their lives. It was very rewarding, and if I can help one person to eat better, get healthier, and feel better in general, then I feel like I’m doing something positive.
I didn’t start this program with the intention of being a fitness and nutrition role model, but the reality is that people around me are watching what I’m doing. And the people around you, especially family members, are watching you. So I strongly encourage you to be a positive influence on them, and take the opportunity to lead by example.
About the author:
Steve Welch is a medical publishing professional who Got Fit, Lean and Kept His Day Job at the ripe old age of 50. If he can do it, so can you. So get on it!