We all know that being active is crucial to our overall well-being. We’ve heard medical professionals advising this for years, but if you’re like most people, life may have gotten in the way. We’re told to lead by example, but how do we do that if we lack the motivation ourselves?

The truth is the key to being active is starting when you’re young. It’s become far too easy in a device-addicted world to forgo physical activity and replace it with online games or social media or any of the other countless apps, games, and streaming services that can eat up a large chunk of our time. But the reality is all that time wasted is detrimental to our health. We’ve become a sedentary society. Our inactivity teaches our children that it’s okay to sit around for countless hours and do nothing of any significance.

So, how do you go from sitting eight hours at a desk at school to becoming physically active?

The process is really quite simple: you move. For starters, set a timer or some sort of reminder to yourself and your children to get up and move, stretch, go for a walk, or march in place for as little as five or ten minutes after you’ve spent some time sitting. Little bursts of energy can have great impact. At first, it might seem silly, but in time, their bodies will get used to it. Soon, they might be surprised to discover that they have more energy and are looking forward to exercising again.

Learning to instill a love of fitness begins with mindset. You must be one hundred percent focused on teaching your children the best practices. Oftentimes we let our busy schedules dictate our lives, become overwhelmed by the latest exercise craze or what everyone else is doing, and numbed by the never-ending ads telling us you “must” do this or “have to” do that. We need to learn to ignore the fluff and remember why we need to exercise as a family. It’s not about cute outfits or keeping up with unrealistic societal expectations. It’s about what our bodies need to grow and thrive. What will make you feel good about yourself? If that means, a short ten-minute nightly walk, then, fantastic. Allowing themselves to do things your way and in their time, will set them free in that they will find their rhythm and find a routine that works for them.

Don’t let the disconnect between the mind and the body continue to fester. As mentioned, change the focus, and their bodies will follow. Make it fun. Make it light. But most importantly, make it something you and your children look forward to. No one wants another chore on their to-do lists. Get healthy while enjoying some quality family time together.

By Steve Stanley