No one really prepared me for motherhood. They tried to tell me about the sleep(less) thing, picky eaters and potty training but it still threw me for a loop. They also didn't prepare me for the number of lessons I would learn from my kids.
You see, my kids teach me something every single day. They have the ability to simplify the things that we adults make so complicated.
As a Fitness Professional, the thing I marvel at most is my children's ability to naturally lean towards healthy habits. As adults we force ourselves to eat foods we don't like, push through workouts when we're hurt. Kids don't do that stuff. They trust and love their bodies and its amazing!
Here are the top 5 Healthy Living lessons I have personally learned from my kids.
1) You don't HAVE to eat dessert (but if you want to, eat it with GUSTO!)
On many occasions, I have witnessed my children turn down yummy foods like cake, french fries and pizza simply because they were too full or didn't feel like it. I have also seen them giddy with excitement as they polish off a piece of birthday cake. No shame, no guilt. Food for pleasure is totally OK with them and I love this!
Kids are master intuitive eaters. They trust their bodies to tell them when they've had enough. They stop eating because it is simply uncomfortable not because someone else told them to. I think we'd all be better eaters if we just learned to eat like my 5 and 7 year old.
2) Your Body is super cool
My little boys are fascinated with their bodies and what they can do. They dance in their underpants, run naked in sprinklers and ride full speed ahead on their bikes. They are completely confident and unashamed of their bodies. Somewhere along the line, our bodies have become something to pick on and fix. It's rare to find a woman who hasn't been on a diet or had a moment of body insecurity. I'm not implying that you have to "dance in your underpants" but I do think we can learn a thing or two from these body confident munchkins.
3) Moving is awesome.
Kids run everywhere.
Dropping off books at the library? Run!
Getting eggs at the grocery store? Let's sprint!
We've been conditioned to think that exercise is hard and painful. Kids remind us that exercise can be fun and it doesn't have to be "traditional". Kids ride bikes, play tag, dance, wrestle (mine do this a lot!) and they love every minute of it. They don't worry if they've missed a workout or are behind on their strength training regime. They move their bodies because it simply feels good. Brilliant!
4) When you're sick, lie down
I'm not sure when we started earning badges of honour for powering through our workdays or workouts when we were sick. We've become hardwired to "push through it" when we aren't feeling 100%.
When my kids are sick, there is no denying it. They go to bed and sleep it off and get back up when they are good and ready. There's no "powering through a playdate" or "sucking it up to go to kindergarten". The next time you are sick, take a page from the little guy's book and rest it out. The world can wait for you.
5) If you're hungry, just eat
If you've ever been on a "diet" you know its all about avoiding hunger. Staying full and avoiding certain foods are the name of the game...So much so that I think we've lost the ability to trust our hunger. When my kids are hungry, there is no question about. They don't think about when they ate last, or if it is "true hunger" or just "emotional eating". They just eat...so refreshingly simple.
I'd love to hear about some of the lessons your kids have taught you. Mine teach me every single day and when I'm truly ready to listen, they offer me brilliant gems of wisdom. Lesson of the moment: Listen to your body. It will never let you down.
Kim Holmes is a Personal Trainer and the Owner of My Fit Coach. She creates Online Fitness and Nutrition programs for busy Moms to make self care easier during the crazy stage of motherhood. As a Mom of two young sons, she understands that you don’t have hours to spend at the gym. Her Online Programs are efficient, fun and most importantly, they make fitness fit into your REAL life. Join her free 5 Days to Fit Jumpstart Program to access her 30 minute home workout videos for busy Moms.
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