Your kids will likely follow your example no matter what it is that you do. Why not lead them toward a life of good health and fitness?
If anything, one of the biggest motivators to getting in shape should be to increase your families quality of life. Here are some of the things that we did to help our kids, and ourselves stay healthy:
After dinner walks:
In Germany, one of our favorite things to do was to take our daily walks right after dinner. This would not only help digestion, but it would also facilitate conversation. I got to know my kids more, and more each time we walked to the park. We would often play tag, make up an obstacle course, and race each other. This type of interaction was important since I had to make up for the 12 or 15 months I would spend in Afghanistan every other year.
Start a club:
When we moved to Fort Benning, GA, I had to start my time as a Drill Sergeant. This meant little to no interaction with my kids or wife, which meant no more amazing after dinner walks. So, one thing my wife did was volunteer as a coach for the schools run club (which was run by another member of The Warrior Family team). This meant the boys, and my wife, would get together with 20-30 elementary school kids, and do sprints, play games, or even run around the neighborhood. The club was so effective that the children would compete at local races, and often win medals! This had an extraordinary effect on their confidence, and their overall fitness level.
Be The Example
I have been a paratrooper in the Army for seven years now. I loved competing in Army functions, and would often do races where my wife would also participate, and my kids would watch. Since 2009, I have been really big into Crossfit, and continually watch instructional videos, or technique ones as well. Recently, my boys asked if I would train them on the Olympic lifts (I have been certified since 2009). I must say, that was one of the most awesome things I have ever felt – to know that my boys want to go beyond the ordinary, and compete at an elite level like they see on the videos I watch. So, we started training:
First, before every time they wanted to play any video game, they owed me two minutes of movement: 5 push ups/5 sit ups/ and five jumps for as many rounds as possible (commonly referred to as an AMRAP). Then, we began developing form, and precise movement patterns. This, my friends, will continue since their motor patterns will change as they grow.
Here is a photo after our handstand push-up competition:
The boys and I had so much fun!
I would never think that a six, and nine year old would be capable of doing something so complex – they sure did impress me.
Mateo: 5 w/kips
Caleb: 5 w/kips
Dad: 6 stict form
I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for how interested my wife and kids are in fitness, I probably would have lost my motivation a long time ago. However, since they show so much interest, I will continue to teach, and mentor them to become as strong physically, and intellectually as possible.
Until next time, friends!
Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better. This is what we’re all about.
Fight on Friends! – The Warrior Family
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