As part of my new web series, The Role Model In You, here is my most recent interview. The Role Model In You series discusses how individuals were influenced as a child to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covers who influenced these individuals, the changes they made in their life to be healthy, and the message they would like to convey to the youth of today. Our guests include doctors, soccer stars, Super Bowl champions, NBA players, Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and just regular people looking to share their story. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
I’m Dr. Tim Fox, 41, physical therapist, board-certified geriatric clinical specialist and the founder and CEO of Fox Rehabilitation. It’s a private practice of full-time physical, occupational, and speech therapists. One of our divisions, Fox Kids, serves children, with the idea of helping them develop to their full potential and independence.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
A healthy diet and balanced nutrition started at a very young age for me. I grew up in England, growing a lot of veggies in our backyard. Good eating habits began with my mother.
3. What did she do to inspire you?
She always made sure we had a nutritious meal in front of us. Our plate always had the main food groups on it, especially fresh greens and meats. I remember the “fish man” would bring us fresh fish to our house in his van every week. We had good cereals too, wholegrain ones – the stuff that tasted like it was good for you. I still eat it till this day, though. It’s an English cereal, Weetabix. I go to Whole Foods now and get it.
4. How did her lesson change your life?
Growing up those lessons never left me. In high school and college I was pretty active and got into weight lifting and going to the gym. As I became interested in physical fitness and nutrition, I learned more about Jack Lalane, the “Godfather of Fitness.” He had a message in the 1960s about fitness and exercise that was so strong, yet no one really listened to it then. I feel like I have an obligation to continue his legacy with the same passion and enthusiasm for physical fitness, wellness, and living at an optimal level of function. When I became a physical therapist, I made it my mission and the mission of Fox to rehabilitate lives by believing in the strength of people and the power of exercise.
5. Do you convey her message to kids in your life presently?
What I learned from my mother carried over to how my wife and I raise our own children. We make one meal in our house and everyone eats that same meal together. It’s fresh, it’s healthy, and it’s good for you. My kids aren’t picky eaters because they didn’t have the option to be and now they enjoy a lot of very different foods. Physical activity is also very important to us. My kids don’t have video games and they don’t get to watch TV on weeknights. Television is a privilege on weekends. They can read a book, ride their bikes, hang out with the family, play with their pets or go outside and play.
Kids need to stay physically active, get off the computer and electronic devices. We as parents need to set a good example and be more assertive when it comes to diet and exercise. We should encourage our kids to put on their coats and hats, go outside and find something to do. If parents are active themselves, kids will be more likely to model after them and feel more comfortable going outside and figuring out how to play outdoors. Basic foundations in parenting have been missed and it’s causing a change in the health of our children. There has been a change in culture where parents are afraid to be assertive, set firm rules and therefore be good parents.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Put your Welly boots on and go jump in some puddles. Go exploring… get dirty! It’s all about staying active and having fun!
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?