If you have, had, or are having little people in your life you know (or should) that they watch and understand a LOT more than we think they do a lot sooner than seems fair. Keeping this in mind, it’s nice to know that we can be teaching our littles just by how we live life. The opposite is true too, of course, but if you are incorporating health and fitness into your life as a regular activity you can bet your kiddos are noticing and internalizing it, even if you’re not going out of your way to lecture them about it. That’s actually the beauty of it. Here are some great things that can happen for your little spud-lets when you become less of a couch potato yourself.
First, exercise stops becoming a four letter word and becomes a three letter one – fun! It’s interesting that so many of us grownups have negative feelings about exercising because this is not a natural state of being! Just spend 5 seconds with a member of the shorter set and you’ll instantly see that they just Do. Not. Stop. Moving. Ever. This week our little fidgets woke up before my workout was finished so I let them join me for my last set. Now granted, this was more for them than me because it’s pretty hard to swinga kettlebell with any kind of authority when one or two two-year-olds are cruising around manically, but the humor quotient alone was worth the calories I didn’t get to burn. Aiden just loves the stability ball, as does Grace who does a pretty good job of flinging herself off it and landing safely. Ben, on the other hand, is more of a treadmill guy. Even though he’s only two, he gets up on that bad boy (in only a diaper and his favorite yellow rain boots) and marches away for all he’s worth, while Aiden tries to push his twin off, or put his foot on to see what happens (nothing good).
When your kids see you choosing to exercise, they will try to copy you. It’s a total crack up watching little Aiden try to do burpees (he gets down on all fours and sort of bounces his hind end up and down so his legs go up…terrible form, but really cute). Grace is able to do quite a few things and loves it. Just the other day, she instructed me to call her “Cheetah Girl” because she is such a fast runner. Only when she is in jumping mode I may call her “Jumping Girl”.
And when you do healthy outdoor activities, you can enjoy things through their eyes. Now that they can walk and listen to one out of ten commands, we’ve been taking the twins and Grace out into nature whenever we can. Grace and Ben just love running. They don’t even care where, just running. Back and forth and laughing like fools. Aiden joins sometimes but other times just stands there and looks straight up at all the huge trees towering over him. Wook Mommy! Wook Mommy! He says this with so much delight as he shows me trees, sticks and bugs and the added benefit of exhausted kiddos at the end is pretty good too.
Now don’t get me wrong; our kids are like all kids in that if they are left to their own devices they prefer going full zombie in front of a screen shoving sugar down their throats, but if I manage their options, they are also pretty partial to fruits and sometimes even vegetables and truly love to run and jump outside as much as possible.
So the key, I think, is to live what you preach, and limit the unhealthy options and it’s amazing how much the kids will gravitate to fun, active, healthy living!
You ARE Limitless!