Your kids’ health and fitness are your responsibility

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Your kids’ health and fitness are your responsibility

Today I am going to be speaking to you in progressive terms. I honestly believe that not enough time and attention is expended by parents, perhaps even you, in addressing the very important matter of your kids’ health and fitness. My sense of urgency comes by way of personal experience on two fronts. First, let me relate to you the bad. In many cases it cannot be helped when adults, today even young adults, contract life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

But a lot of the time, as they say, prevention is better than the cure. Just by teaching kids how to eat right, you are addressing many of the ills that could cause them health problems later on in life. A lot of the diseases can be eased by making sure children and their grownups that they are always looking up to live responsible and healthy lives by doing all the things that have been prescribed. It really boils down to simply getting on with it.

The younger they become accustomed to healthy habits, from regular exercise to daily outdoor activities, from three well-balanced healthy meals a day to an early night’s rest, the easier it becomes to apply these same habits in later life as adults, particularly when adults are plagued with the everyday rush and full schedules of modern suburban and work life. The temptation to break away from all the typical stresses of life have proved to be quite profound for a great many adults, so much so that they ended up associating themselves with addictive behavior in which many hazardous terrains and materials are transgressed and consumed.

The plus side to my personal experience would have to go all the way back to my own childhood. I would have to say that perhaps we (I have two other sisters, also with kids) were a little more fortunate than our childhood friends. Our mother was quite vigilant in seeing to it that we all ate healthily and practiced good hygiene. We dressed well too and we were taught the finer arts of good grooming for young women.

Our mother, in her time, may not have had the foreknowledge that smoothies are for kids, but she didn’t need it. There was always fruit on our kitchen table and we were always encouraged to eat at least one fruit a day. Also, our school lunches were always packed with fruit. I’ll be the first to confess that my own childlike sweet tooth deviously let a fruit or two rot under the cover of my school desk. Girls will be girls.

And it’s amazing to experience just how the desire for succulent and juicy fruits manifests after a bout of strenuous activity. Subconsciously, the body is craving it. This would happen a lot at school. Sandwiches would be done and dusted long before the midday break, but by the time hockey practice was over, I would be quite famished and thirsty. After a good sip of water, I would take one more look into my lunchbox only to find that there was still fruit over. Oh well, what is a girl to do.

Back in the day, supermarket purchased fruit juices weren’t all bad. Then we had mostly real fruit juices without the white sugar loadings and other chemical garbage the manufacturers throw in nowadays. So, along with our daily quota of fresh, creamy dairy milk, our mother would always order different flavors of fruit juice. And I think that during those days, our home must have been one of the rarest on earth where nary a bottle of famous or favorite soda or soft-drinks would be found. My mother declared war on this.

We were always bookish sorts of girls. Our mother always encouraged us to read books before watching TV. Our father loved his ballgames. So, with no sons of his own, he encouraged all three girls to be physically active in outdoor sports events. I already told you that I played hockey. My younger sister played soccer. And my other sister truly enjoyed the martial arts. Summertime we were big on track and field. My sisters took part in the sprints while I tried my legs at the middle distance events.

Not any one of us was too familiar with winning races or games. That was a rare occasion. But we were again lucky where sport was concerned. Our coaches never instilled the win at all costs mentality that you see at some schools these days. Our coaches always encouraged us to enjoy ourselves rather than go for physical overkill. And not our father, nor our teachers, ever put pressure on us to take part in outdoor games.

Children always seem to learn well and are motivated to do well in life when they are able to replicate their own parents’ healthy examples. For goodness sake, if you’re a parent who sits on her bum all day watching TV and eating crisps, what did you expect when your child does similar harm to her body?


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