Getting Real With Kathy Winn

If you’re asking your kids to exercise, then you better do it, too. Practice what you preach.

– Bruce Jenner

My husband and I were both “chubby” (that’s what they used to call it) as kids and we are trying to head that off for our little ones, so we take exercise pretty seriously in our house. I am a runner (for fitness and for sanity) and enjoy hitting the pavement when the weather cooperates. My husband is a basketball nut (again for fitness and sanity) and plays in several different leagues. Together as a family, we hike, ride bikes, and look for ways to get exercise into our lives. And we are cautiously optimistic about the effect it’s having on our kids.

Our 7 year old has done the myriad of youth sports (soccer, football, and currently baseball). Never more than one sport at a time and usually a few months off in between (once again for sanity’s sake – ours). But his outlook towards healthy activities is the most promising effect. He talks about exercise – and making good food choices – to stay healthy (not about his weight). In school they learn about heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Combined with the volunteer work that we do with cancer organizations, he’s getting a pretty accurate portrayal of the health scene in the world. He wants to exercise and make good decisions to “stay healthy.” And that makes me pretty proud.

Right now, we are getting ready to train for a one mile run that we will do together. And that makes me even prouder.

As a country, I don’t think we move enough. We are complacent to sit and watch television or surf the web (myself included). But the attitude and outlook of our children is being shaped on a daily basis. If we teach them to love exercise and movement, it becomes a part of their life, and hopefully a part of their family’s life. And so on.

So we keep moving. For fitness and sanity.