This Father’s Day, Outlaw FitCamp salutes the dads in our communities. We know that fathers play a critically important role in the lives of their children. Kids who grow up with a supportive, present, and capable dad have an easier time becoming successful adults. People can excel in life without this significant role model, but happiness and success come more easily to children raised by caring fathers.
Research shows that being a physically fit dad gives great benefits to your family. Being active with your kids improves relationships and instills good habits in them. Children who have a dad who makes fitness a priority are much more likely to make fitness important in their own lives as well—in childhood and then continuing into adulthood. And we know that being fit makes everything else in your life easier.
Here are seven ways that being a fit dad is good for your kids:
1) Being a good role model shows your kids that fitness is important
It’s no surprise that children who grow up seeing their dad enjoying physical activity are much more likely to focus on fitness themselves. We’ve seen parents come to Outlaw FitCamp who want to lose weight so they aren’t an embarrassment for their children and so they can be a better role model. We don’t think there is anything more important you can do for your child than model a healthy lifestyle and be a positive role model.
2) Children are healthier in childhood when their dads put a focus on staying fit
In a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that children of active mothers were two times as likely to be active than children of inactive mothers. That’s good. But the study also found that children of active fathers were three and a half times more likely to be active themselves. That’s even better! Research has found that there is a consistent relationship between a child’s activity level and the father’s activity level. And surprisingly, a dad’s physical activity level had an even bigger impact on their daughters as it did on their sons.
In another study, children with obese fathers were 14 times more likely to become obese teenagers, even if their mother was a healthy weight. But children with an obese mother along with a healthy weight father were not at increased risk of becoming obese.
Clearly, a dad’s fitness level is important to his children!
3) Kids who grow up with a fit father are more likely become fit adults themselves
It’s not just in childhood that kids with fit dads are more active. Children who grow up watching their dad place importance on fitness are much more likely to become fit adults themselves. What better gift can you give your children?
Studies consistently find that lifestyles learned in childhood are likely to stay with a person in adulthood. If physical activity is a family priority, this will give your children a strong foundation for a lifetime of health.
4) Being fit gives you more energy for your family
Physically keeping up with your kids is very important in their childhood. Being able to play with them, participate in physical activities, take fun vacations, and being fit enough to participate in their lives is priceless.
5) Regular exercise gives you better sleep
A lot of dads don’t get enough sleep, and this is a problem. Physical activity can help you get enough sleep, and this means at least seven hours a night. If you get less than five hours a night on a consistent basis, you will gain increased belly fat and have less energy. And some studies show that driving in this state of sleep deprivation is the same as having two beers in your system.
6) Working out helps you manage daily stress
Physical activity helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Reducing stress is important as it is linked to heart disease and belly fat, among other things. It also helps you from losing your temper with your kids. Physical activity is one of the best stress reducers we have.
7) Being fit allows you to live longer and stay around for your kids
It’s no secret that healthy people live longer than those who are obese and don’t take care of themselves. So to be there for your kids when they are adults and raising their own families, you need to focus on fitness. Besides living longer, you’ll feel better, be more independent, and have fewer medical bills.
We have the knowledge and medical advances to increase our lifespan, and the best gift you can give your family is a healthy body that will last a long time.
Make fitness a priority—it’s not just good for you, it’s good for your children
Your children are watching you. Even if they don’t always act like it, you are an important role model in their lives. They are picking up your habits, good and bad. If you want to raise healthy children, they need to see you making fitness important in your life.
Give us a call at Outlaw FitCamp and we’ll get you on a healthy track. Don’t wait for New Year’s, or even for the weekend to be over. Start today! Leave your kids a legacy of health and fitness. It will make a difference in your life, and in the life of your children. Happy Father’s Day!