Talk About The Importance of Fitness with Your Kids

The fitness habits you pick up as a kid stay with you for as long as you live. That’s not to say that you can’t overcome those learned behaviors, but it is definitely harder to move past poor fitness routines the older you get. In order to establish the right kinds of ideas about fitness in your kids, it’s important to talk about it and to instill positive values when it comes to physical fitness.

It’s also vital to stress the importance of fitness as a whole with your kids.

Focus on Health, Rather than Weight

For the longest time, people have focused on silly things like “goal” weights and “ideal” weights. At the end of the day, weight is just a number that fluctuates based on the time of day, the season, and even the climate you live in. That number in no way defines who you are as a person, and it’s not at all tied to your self-worth.

When you’re talking to your kids about fitness, make sure that they understand weight has nothing to do with their value as people. You’re not concerned with the number they see when they step on the scale. You just want them to be healthy.

Emphasize the Positive

On a similar note, it’s important for you as the parent to emphasize the positives of fitness, rather than the negatives. Fitness should never be about losing weight. It should instead be about your kids’ gaining strength and skills and the ability to do things with their bodies that they couldn’t previously do.

When you emphasize the positive aspects of fitness, you entice your kids to participate in the hopes of gaining new skills—rather than making them feel as though fitness is a chore to be completed.

Let Them Know It’s Okay to Fail

Everyone fails. Most people fail at something at least once a week. When it comes to teaching your kids about the importance of fitness, you have to stress this point: it is okay to fail. It is okay to be bad at a sport. It is okay to fall off your bike.

When you make these points to your kids, you allow them to see failure as an opportunity to grow and learn, instead of as a condemnation of their current capabilities.

Regardless of the way you frame it, it’s crucial to emphasize the joy that fitness can bring to their lives—for the rest of their lives.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonTalk About The Importance of Fitness with Your Kids
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Ode to My Old Hiking Boots

“Take a hike,” they said, snidely. But you and I knew the truth: taking a hike was exactly what we always wanted to do.

To my dearest companions, my old hiking boots, I now dedicate this brief ode to you and our shared adventures over the years.

My wife tells me it’s time to pack you up, send you on to a better home, and find a new, stiff pair to replace you. After weeks and months of back-and-forth, I am sorry to say that I have relented. Don’t worry, old pals; I’m sure you’ll wind up in whatever equivalent of heaven there is for faithful hiking boots.

For now, I would like to sing my praises for your laces. Your sturdy padding has held me together on many a long and rigorous hike. Your form-fitting insoles have cushioned my every trek, and each groove of your sole has grasped onto craggy rocks and trod through the thickest of mud without hesitation.

Thank you, old hiking boots, for never crying out in pain when I forced you to explore just two more miles during that already pretty extensive hike through the backwoods. It was always you that encouraged me to keep on keeping on, even when the going got rough. You were forever a sense of comfort in a vastly uncomfortable and unforgiving world.

You have never shied from the depths of the wilderness, and for that bravery, I am eternally grateful. Even in the moments when I was doubting myself, you were there to let me know I wasn’t alone in the world. My bare feet never had to know the harshness of the uneven terrain; your thick, rubber soles thanklessly did that mitigating job for me. That job is thankless no more. I need you to know, hiking boots, how ardently I admire you—to paraphrase the words of Mr. Darcy. You are my Elizabeth. Okay, maybe I won’t take my admiration that far, but suffice it to say that I am forever indebted to your service.

You’ve been the best of adventure companions, and through all of our journeys, our explorations, and our feats, I am glad to have had you all along the way. You will be missed, old hiking boots, but you will never be forgotten.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonOde to My Old Hiking Boots
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