Friday, May 7, 2010

Chilren's fitness, adult behaviors

The other day I was talking to my sister about an upcoming 5k our family is doing. I found out my eight year old niece is really excited and wants to run the whole thing. I had no idea of her interest!

I've been thinking about the conversation ever since. I started wondering: What makes some adults stay fit even when life gets hectic, and other adults struggle just to stay active?

I think part of it comes from childhood. Just like all other behaviors, at least a portion of this comes from what we did as kids, what we were praised for and what we felt good at.

Think how easy it would be for someone to stay fit if it's all they've known since childhood.

Now, think how hard it would be for someone to get fit if they've never been introduced to the behaviors of being active and healthy! It's so important for our children to be introduced to healthy behaviors while they're still learning.

I guess that's why I'm excited to hear about my niece.

I know this was true for me. My interest started at age 9 when our school introduced the President's Physical Fitness Challenge. I took it to heart, practicing my running and especially the arm hang for hours and hours. My dad even rigged a pull up bar in our garage...the rest is history.

My thoughts are still on my niece. I hope I can be supportive and encouraging to her so she grows up healthy, fit and confident.

What are you doing to support healthy behaviors in your kids?