A Fit Mother Sets A Healthy Example For Her Family

Sometime back in December I received a bumper sticker in the mail from my younger brother. Enclosed with the sticker was a note which read “I thought of you when I saw this.” The bumper sticker stated “A Fit Mom Is a Powerful Mom.”

This set me off pondering about the many dimensions of this statement. A fit mom has many aspects. Working out, eating healthy, maintaining proper hygiene, getting adequate sleep and taking in fresh air each day are all ways to look and feel good, achieve health and function as the best moms we can be.

I’ve always believed that a mom who takes care of herself and feels good about herself makes herself better mother. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of others. This flies against the habits of many moms, who fall into the trap of putting everyone else first and themselves last. However, think about when you are on an airplane and the flight attendance does their little spiel. In case of lack of oxygen in the cabin, the oxygen masks will descend. The parent is always instructed to put on their mask first and then their child’s. You can’t take care of your child, adequately, if you don’t take care of yourself.

Becoming fit, staying healthy and looking and feeling good comes from positive habits. A habit is “a repeated action or pattern that becomes typical.” A regularly repeated pattern can be positive or negative, and will bring about consequences. Of course some habits are easier to create than others. Brushing our teeth daily, fixing our hair, washing our face, etc. are positive routines that are fairly easy to execute. Exercising every day is not quite as easy to accomplish. Certainly stopping at the doughnut shop for breakfast each morning is much less difficult than training for a 5K or half marathon.

I’d venture to guess that throwing on sneakers, cracking a knuckle or two before putting the keys in the ignition to buy our favorite glazed confection is much easier than strapping on those same shoes to go for an early morning jog. Both, however, are personal routines. And your established routines become difficult to break after a time, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

As mentioned in my January column, a habit is fairly well established after only 21 days. Three months of a habit and you’ll have a hard time giving it up. So why not get those running shoes on and start an exercise routine today? Throw out the junk food and go on a health food shopping spree. Aside from looking and feeling better, you’ll sleep better and reduce multiple health risks.

For moms there are other positive repercussions to healthy habits and fitness.

The example we set for our children is another “powerful” outcome of healthy habits. We can tell our children incessantly to exercise and eat healthy.

“Shut off the TV, get off of the computer and stop eating junk!” Of course if mom is sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating cookies while saying this, her words are not going to carry much influence. Obviously if Mom is cooking healthy, eating healthy and working out, this example is going to have a much greater affect on her children’s lifestyle.

It is stated that this generation of children will be the first generation whom will not outlive their parents. This is mainly due to health risks which are highly preventable. A sedentary life style, obesity, high body fat percentage can all lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary disease and adult on-set diabetes, among other heath risks. The wonderful thing about this problem is, not only is it preventable, it’s highly reversible if you change your habits before it’s too late.

In addition, a fit, powerful mom has more credibility with her children. We all know that when someone is up and moving and vivacious we are more apt to be drawn to, listen to and cooperate with that person.

To recap, a fit mom has multiple benefits for mom and family. Just a few are health, vitality, looking good, feeling good, better sleep, healthy children, a more cooperative family life and a better mental outlook. What’s not to love about being fit? Let’s prove the naysayers wrong. Let’s set a good example and give our children a healthy lifestyle.

If you need help getting started, read my January column or feel free to contact me.