"Children learn very quickly one way or another to love it or hate it"
When I was young I LOVED to play sport – play outdoors, exercising without really know I was doing it. I did NOT love dancing (that came much later) – I did NOT love formal classes…I wasn’t so great in those kind of settings.
We often associate classes though with children being active. They go to football club, ballet classes, rugby, athletics, dance. We formalise sport and exercise for children from an early age – they have their “PE”lessons in schools – sports days – competitions. Children learn very quickly one way or another to love it or hate it.
This, of course, is usually dependant on whether they deem themselves to be good at it or not…which is something that makes me really sad.
Children should want to be active and enjoy exercise – without thinking “I’m good or I’m not good”. When I mentioned I hated dance classes above that was why – I was told I wasn’t very good. My confidence was shattered and I didn’t dance again for eight years.
Children need to learn to win and lose – that is a huge lesson that comes from sports and exercise BUT it isn’t the only lesson and here is where you come in.
Exercising responsibly - yes grown ups I mean you!
"We need to use more of the f-word with exercise".
As adults we often associate sport and exercise with one of three things – being a hobby, losing weight or a “social thing”. We forget that exercise has another huge importance in our world.
It teaches us how to persevere against the odds.
It teaches us how to progress and how to push. How to grow our confidence – how to build our self-esteem. To move away from the world of technology and focus in on our mind and bodies. It offers us a way to destress and have fun.
This is where the importance comes in for children. We need to use more of the F-word with exercise. We should be shouting it from the rooftops. “EXERCISE IS FUN”. Why do we think it isn’t? Because we formalise it – we make it a chore – we are tired and exhausted and we forget or haven’t got the energy.
If children see this happening – if they live in a world where exercise is a chore – where your energy levels are low – when you “can’t be bothered” what does that tell them? What example does that set?
Or if they are raised to associate exercise with weight loss and dieting it creates thoughts and pathways that again make exercise not something to be enjoyed but something that they “have to do”.
It’s not about you being good at it -be terrible!! Teach children that even if the first press-up they do is hard the next and the next will get easier. Show them how strong their bodies can be and all they can achieve.
Exercise is the simplest and yet one of the most important lessons children can learn.
How and where to start?
My favourite quote is by Arthur Ashe – “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
To me that sums it up perfectly. We try to go at 100mph we will burn out but if you start to make small and active changes it will become part of both yours and your children’s world.
Do that first workout – show them and yourself that you can. Go for that big family hike you have been putting off – or even a walk in the park or to the shops. Build it into your routine.
This summer I am running “The Get Active Family Summer Challenge
Weekly ideas – plans – family workouts and challenges to bring exercise into your home and bring the family together (plus keep the kids busy). They are simple weekly plans and resources for you to follow and use.
It is taking that F-word and making it a HUGE part of your summer (and yes I mean Fun…although by week six of the holidays you maybe using a few other variations).
There is no catch with this challenge – it is open to ALL At Home HIIT Members. You can sign up here.
Come join us and bring the whole family!!! Lets start this change together.