Make Fitness A Family Affair


Walking to school with my daughter
Photo: Maricris Guadagna

Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day was Saturday July 7. Did you take your daughter for a walk? No, me neither. At least not intentionally. We did do some shopping together and walked through the mall, but we didn’t make a concerted effort to take a walk together.

I’m sorry I missed it! Doing activities that promote health and wellness with your children (whether son or daughter) is very important. How else are they going to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle? Certainly not from watching TV or playing video games! It’s also an opportunity to spend quality time with your daughter (or son). All too often, children don’t get to spend quality time with their father.

Healthy activities done with your children can lead to healthy habits when they get older. And when they are adults, those habits you instilled when they were younger could be the catalyst that helps them to motivate you to continue living a healthy lifestyle as you age gracefully beyond your golden years.

So what kinds of activities can you do with your child when they are young?

With an infant or baby, the simplest thing to do is play with them, a lot!! No special play area or gym place is necessary. Just get on the floor with a ball and some blocks and be a kid. The idea is to create a bond with your child and sow the seeds of being active in your child.

When your child becomes a toddler and into their elementary school years, up to age 11 or 12, activities such as walking, biking, hiking, roller skating/blading, shooting hoops, playing catch, frisbee, swimming, martial arts, and many others can be done for fun by both children and adults and allow you to introduce concepts such as competitive spirit, team work, accomplishment and achievement. These are the formative years for your child. It’s important to discover what activities your child loves to do, while still trying out new activities to expand their horizon.

As your child grows into their teen years and beyond, you can continue to engage their competitive spirit through these same activities, but be warned, they might start beating you at a few of these activities. That’s when you can show them the importance of skill and determination.

And when your child becomes an adult and has children of their own, then you can have fun with your grandchildren. And because you lived a healthy lifestyle and stayed active all these years, you’ll still have the energy, stamina, and conditioning to keep up with them.

Living an active, healthy lifestyle has many benefits. And the best time to start is now, whether your a child or adult. So go ahead, take a walk with your daughter or son. You don’t need a special day, any day will do.

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