6 Ways that Working Out Benefits Your Kids

boy with father playing at the beach, kids, laughing

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There are a million excuses to skip a workout, especially when kids are involved. Not only do you have to fight against your sleepy self telling you to go back to bed and push your workout off to the afternoon, but when the kids need to be fed or you want to spend some time as a family, your fitness regime will quickly take a backseat. Balancing a career, children, and time for your physical fitness can seem truly impossible, but the benefits for you and your kids are worth the balancing act. Here’s why:

1. You’ll be a better parent

Exercise helps ward off disease, prevents injuries, improves sleep, and helps maintain mental health. If those aren’t enough reasons, the neurochemical effects of exercise boost your mood and help you think better, which can lead to an increase in creativity, productivity, and better parenting. When you carve out time for yourself and your physical well-being, it shows in the way you react to stressful situations, your energy levels, and how you interact with your family.

2. Teaches work ethic

You may try to teach your kids the importance of hard work and good work ethic, but what about when they watch you overcome something difficult like laying out one more set in your garage gym or hitting the pavement every day after work? Exercise highlights your work ethic in moments when you’re tired from the day and unmotivated but still head out the door to fit in time for your body and mental well-being. Lauren Rodgers is one such parent who has prioritized fitness and shown her kids first-hand the value of hard work in the gym. 

3. Gives them time

Happy friends running in the park, kids

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How many times have you caught yourself thinking, “If only there were more hours in a day”? With more time you would put in enough hours at work, cook healthy meals, spend time with your family, take time for yourself, and get that ripped body you never have time to build. Exercising actually adds time to your life. According to the National Institutes of Health, participating in leisurely physical activity can extend your life by 4.5 years. That’s almost five more years with your kids. Now imagine if you did regular, strenuous exercise. How much more time would that give you with your family?

4. Demonstrates a healthy lifestyle

Good workouts lead to better nutrition, more energy, and healthier lifestyle choices. When you’re in a routine of hitting the gym, drinking a fruit and protein-filled smoothie for breakfast, and making veggie heavy dishes for dinner, your kids will notice. You’re showing them how to lead a healthy life by example. This is how they’ll perceive adult life to be, and they’ll follow suit by being healthy, active teens and adults. 

5. Establishes respect

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It may not feel like it, but when you grunt out another 10 push-ups or insist on serving healthy meals, your kids will respect you. They’ll notice that you knock out some sit-ups during the commercial break and don’t eat doughnuts for dinner. When they see that you prioritize your physical fitness they will not only respect you, but they’ll want to emulate you.

6. You’ll be happy

You know that high when you finish a tough workout? When you exercise, your brain sees it as a time of high stress, so it releases a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and endorphins to fight stress and reset the mind. This is why your mind becomes clear and you feel at ease during and after exercising. This happy feeling impacts the way you feel about yourself and your life. When you take care of yourself and you’re happy, your kids will notice.

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