Welcome to a new category of my blog simply called ‘Healthy Tips.’ Many times, when I write articles for various publications, I need to find sources for the story. Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo Shine (click here) and PBS (click here) about keeping kids healthy. I was looking for experts and parents to chime in and give their favorite ‘tips’ to help kids (and their families) lead a healthy lifestyle.
The feedback for the story was amazing. The sources had some fantastic points of view that could not be ignored, and I thought their opinions should be viewed on the Your Health Journal web site.
So, enjoy my new series, with some ‘great’ insight from some ‘great’ people giving exceptional and educational points of view.
My name is Andre Farnell,I am a 17yr fitness expert and fitness mindset coach. I am the owner of Better Body Expert fitness solutions company. We provide workshops and seminars for fortune 500 companies as well as 1-on-1 consulting and coaching for busy and successful people to take fitness from chore to a productive habit that happens second nature for our clients.
The importance of families exercising together
A family exercising together goes a long way to establishing the context that children will have when it comes to exercising and being healthy for a lifetime. The family setting is the environment where a lot of habits both detrimental to health and beneficial are formed. Many of these habits are responsible for certain outcomes or familial traits even more so than genes. Exercising together as a family can mentally link physical exercise and feelings of fun and well-being together making it something that can be done for a lifetime. Exercising together can set an overall tone for physical activity in a child or even in a formerly inactive adults life that can prove beneficial. Motivation to have a good time as a family unit can definitely transfer over into physical well being and an overall great relationship with moving to be healthy in life.
Suggestions / creative ideas to get families to exercise together
1. I’ve worked with families to create a family Olympics Day once a quarter for which they trained for weekly. Events where the entire family participates in a specific set of events in the back yard ranging from a shuttle run, to basketball free throws, foot races and even obstacle courses. They would prepare for each by doing various calisthenics and drills.
2. Creating Bragging Rights posters to hang in the house for various activities. Most jumping jacks in a minute, Most pushups non stop, having jump rope & hula hoop contests.
3. Hire a very personal good trainer to come in and put together or lead a personalized family bootcamp/ circuit routine that the entire family can do.
4. It always helps if the parents lead by example and encourage the children to do safe variations of what they do to workout. It is so motivational for a child to mirror their father or mother working out and staying in shape.
5. Designate 30-60 minutes a day a “Get Fit” Time and do a physical family activity.
Reasons why families are not exercising together as much in our modern day era
1. Major reason is that it is not a front of mind priority for the parents to do. their minds are cluttered with daily activity and taking care of family health and well being does not always make the list or even show up as a possible variable to be added into a day.
2. No where in media or mainstream society is family fitness promoted prominently. Society itself has placed fitness and exercise on the back burner. It is not held in a light that makes it something that is doable, practical and easily made into a habit.
3. Fitness has been promoted as a way to avoid an onslaught of disease and medication and not as promoting a way of living that enhances all that we do as humans. Fear and survival only works for the short term and quick fixes to gaining exercise results have fleeting results at best. Promoting fitness as a tool to taking steps to intentionally create the life that you want to live may help to change the concept of what fitness is now and how it occurs. It may go a long way to help make it a priority for people. Fitness is a thing that must be done on purpose so it should be attached to a person’s purpose.
– Andre Farnell, CSCS, HFS is a Fitness Mindset Coach™ and a 17 year fitness expert with over 20 years of personal fitness experience. He is an author/speaker and workshop leader. Andre is the owner of Better Body Expert LLC a NYC/NJ based fitness solutions company that specializes in incorporating fitness into the lives of workaholics and busy people worldwide.