It’s Never Too Early to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle!

As adults, we often hear that it’s “never too late” to make positive lifestyle changes, and while that sentiment IS true, it is also true that starting early in life doesn’t hurt either!

Research shows that there are many benefits to being active as children. Active children are more likely to mature into physically active adults, they have a reduced risk of obesity, increased cardiovascular fitness, improved coordination and balance, better sleep, and improved social skills. Some studies, most notably a large-scale study of almost 12,000 Nebraska schoolchildren published in August in The Journal of Pediatrics[1], also suggest that physical fitness in children is linked to success in school, a corollary benefit that may be overlooked by those looking to reduce physical education funding for schools and other related programs.

Jovin performing an overhead row with Nish providing resistance.

Jovin performing an overhead row with Nish providing resistance.

Beside the numerous mental and physical benefits of being physically active, working out together provides great opportunities for strengthening relationships and bonding between family members.  Lately, this has been evident to me in my work with two new community members at Blitz, Nishawn & Jovin, aged 10 and 8 respectively. ‘Nish’ and Jovin have been participating twice a week in personal training sessions aimed at helping them live more active lifestyles, and while at times I have witnessed the typical “sibling rivalry”, as of late there have been more incidents of the brothers supporting each other.  In fact, Nish and Jovin are becoming each others’ biggest cheerleaders.  When “the going gets tough”, they speak words of encouragement to each other; if one finishes a task early and the other is still at it, a chorus of “You can do this!” and “Good job! Keep at it!” can be heard.  Last week, during a sixty-second wall-sit, Jovin and Nish began playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to help divert their attention from the challenge of the task at hand.  They are in this together, and together they are having fun and making progress – both physically and in their relationship.

Nish and Jovin have discovered that the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle can extend well beyond the gym; bonding, camaraderie, and creating lasting memories are just a few.  As for me, I look forward every week to seeing what the boys will do next to support, encourage and challenge each other.  They are living proof that it is never too early to adopt a healthy lifestyle.


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23465408

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