I came downstairs a few days ago to find my eldest daughter trying to do forward rolls on our living room rug. I asked her what she was doing and she replied – “I’m doing my exercises like Daddy”.
This is the first time she’s really recognised the fact that I exercise, it’s something I usually do after she has gone to bed. It got me thinking about the reasons I train, why it is important to me and how being a Dad motivates me to be consistent.
I think there are three main reasons that, if you are Dad, you should keep yourself in shape:
1) Be a good example
We all know that obeisity levels are on the rise. What I find more worrying is that the average person in the UK is three stone heavier
now than in the mid-60s. If this trend continues, and fat and unfit becomes an accepted norm in society, it will take more effort for children to look after themselves as they grow up.
As a parent this makes it even more important that you help your children build good habits early on. The simplest way to help this happen is to set a good example yourself. Cheap convenience food is everywhere, but if you don’t have it in the house they can’t eat it. If they see you keeping in shape they will be intruiged and want to copy you.
Make eating well and exercising normal in your home even if it is abnormal out of it.
Children have endless energy. They run and jump, climb and roll for hours without stopping. They love playing, and it’s great to be able to share the fun with them. A big reason I try to keep in shape is just to keep up with them and I would hate to not be able to join in if they wanted me to.
is great for this as it closely mimics a lot of the activities you will see in children’s play. By focusing my training in this way I am confident I will be able to keep up, now and in the future.
If they want to charge around the park for hours – I can join in. If they are then too tired to walk and need carrying home, that’s fine too.
3) Your kids love you
At least I hope they do! The point here is that if you smoke, eat like crap and put on weight the chances that you will get diabetes, heart disease and host of other unpleasant illnesses goes up.
Medical technology is helping doctors keep us alive for longer regardless of how much we fuck ourselves up. But longer is not necessarily better – what about quality of life?
Yes, you might be hit by a bus tomorrow, or be struck down with a horrible disease. Freak accidents happen but the fact that something unexpected could shorten your life is not an excuse to avoid trying to EXTEND it.
Work to enjoy the time you spend with your children as much as is possible, for as long as is possible.