Spring is finally here and I see all the families outside playing catch, running at the park, going for bike rides and other activities. It makes me smile to see that some families still take time to play and participate in physical activity. These are foundational principles I grew up with and helped me to continue to be physically active as an adult. My mother always enrolled me in various sports and made sure my sister and I played outside during all four seasons. TV time was limited and video games were not even an option.
I thank my mother for instilling this principal in me, as it has taught me how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Not only do I see the value in having a healthy lifestyle but I also see how it has had a profound impact on my self-confidence as it taught me the true meaning of teamwork and to believe and push myself, initially in sports but now, I can carry this in to all areas of my life and many relationships. I played many different sports growing up but my focus was on soccer, football, track and field, martial arts, wrestling and weight training. Out of all the sports I played and invested time into, weight training was the one that stole my heart. I am very fortunate to have started at a young age and continue to this day.
When you start any sport or hobby at a young you tend to catch on much faster than an adult would because your brain is developing at a faster rate. You begin to gain fine motor skills at age three and the skill is developed and refined until age five. This time in a child’s life is an ideal time to introduce them to basic motor movements. “The preschool years are known as the ‘Golden Age’ of motor development. It is during these years (3‐to 5‐years of age) that important skills like running, jumping, throwing, and catching are developed. Through play and physical activity, kids learn and practice skills that become building blocks for more complicated movements “ (Child health and exercise medicine program).
I have seen an increase in the amount of parents who bring their children to the gym to train together. My father brought me to my first commercial gym as a teen and I never wanted to leave! Going to the gym at a young age is a great way to develop you ideal physique. By being intentional about your physique and aware of your fitness level before and during puberty you are more likely to be a healthier and fit adult who leads an active lifestyle. This is important because during puberty, your body changes drastically and this is when your permanent homeostasis develops and your adult body develops. If you are fit, have good muscle density and low body fat during early childhood development in through puberty, you will have a much higher chance of sustaining and developing your fitness level and training results. Your body will be used to being strong and efficient and will continue to develop at a rapid rate as you continue to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
I have touched on how important fitness for children as they develop in the early years and through puberty but let me go back to the first and most important word in this blog…FAMILY.
I have found that everything in life is better when you do it with someone else! For me I can especially see this when training at the gym and living a healthy lifestyle. I have been a fitness junkie my whole life and now that I have a girlfriend and family it has taken me to another level of seeing the importance of instilling this in their lives and being a leader who acts on his word. As a family, we have done a lot of research in to the different ‘super foods’ and ‘power foods’ that will improve our health and longevity and also spend a lot of time cooking together which has become a great educational tool for all members of the family. Not only do we have a major focus on eating clean and cooking together but we also TRAIN HARD. We hit the gym together as a couple 2-3 times a week and individually our goal is to go 6 times a week. We motivate, keep each other accountable, and are truly motivated by sharing our successes with each other.
Like I said in my last blog (90 Day Challenge), Tiffany has been and continues to be a major factor for my motivation and success. I love training Tiff and educating her on different principles in regards to health and fitness. She is thirsty for the knowledge and her most recent goal is to strive for autonomy while we are at the gym. When times are hard, we are there for each other for guidance, love and support and when we feel we cannot complete or succeed, we are there to push each other and ensure failure is not an option.
There is nothing wrong with doing things alone and we all can, but doing them as a family is something special. We were made to be social and loving human beings, so let’s use the gift of family and start being fit with our brother, sister, mom, dad, spouse, child!
Get out there and be a #fitfam
Until next time!
Works Cited Child health and exercise medicine program. "Preschooler focus physical activity and motor skill development." July 2011: 2.
Picture 1- Teaching Capri to ride a bike! "Focus Capri"
Picture 2- Capri mastered the Fireman Pole at the park (with a little help)
Picture 3- Tiffany and Capri off for a bike ride
Dan has been a personal trainer since 2008.