I remember vividly the day I was planning to propose.
Snez, Eve [Snezana’s daughter] and I were walking the Hazard Mountain track in Tassie, and I’d hoped to pop the question once we reached the beautiful Wine Glass Bay lookout.
Before we got there Eve was saying, ‘I think we’ve gone far enough, let’s head back’ and Snez wasn’t fussed either way, so I had to convince them both that the view had to be seen to be believed or my romantic plan would be foiled.
Now that is one family trek I’ll never forget.
I earned my chops training kids and showing them just how much fun being active is. So it’s no surprise that I’m right behind families getting active together, and cementing good habits for children that will do them good right into adulthood.
Thankfully for time-strapped parents, it’s dead easy. When it comes to getting the family active, I have three simple rules.
1. Be a good role model.
No one likes a couch hero, so get up, get active, get involved and never forget that kids are like sponges and they don’t miss a trick.
If they see you setting a good example, whatever that might be — a round of golf, cycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator — they will imitate your actions. So make sure those actions are ones you would like imitated.
Watch: Sam walks us through a simple exercise circuit you can do just about anywhere you please. (Post continues after video.)
2. Remember kids need to play sport.
No matter how busy you are, or how sporty or ‘unsporty’ you may be, make sure you facilitate this as a parent.
Be patient, as some kids find their favourite one or two sports straight away but others need to try as many different sports as they can from age five to 10 before they truly find what is right for them.
Remember it’s all about fun, participation, getting active, making friends — and, as a parent, it’s never about you.
3. Get active as a family.
Embrace family bike rides, trips to the beach, kicking the footy, coaching the soccer team… whatever it might be.
I have the fondest memories from my childhood of fishing with Dad and my little sister Hannah — getting up early, putting the dingy on the trailer, rowing out (usually in circles as Hannah and I had an oar each). (Post continues after gallery.)
We’d catch flathead on little hand reels before heading in to clean and cook them on the barbie for lunch. We may not have run a marathon together, but what a great active morning in the fresh air.
Quality family time is precious and should be treasure. It takes a little effort and creativity but it will be worth it, now and in the future.
Oh, and a worn out kid is a kid that (might) sleep in a little longer on a Sunday morning, just sayin’…
How do you encourage your family to be active?
Sam Wood is the creator of 28bysamwood.com, the 28 day online fitness, food & mindfulness program that he won’t shut up about. Sam is a personal trainer with over 15 years experience making people fitter and happier.