We learn by example. The same holds true for fitness.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 80 percent of adults fail to meet guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. At the same time, 80 percent of adolescents do not get enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth. Isn’t it time that we set the example and teach our children about health and fitness by leading the way?

One of the best ways to teach children a fit and healthy lifestyle is to do it together.  Get everyone on board and center the new life changes around an event. With Mother’s Day around the corner, ask for the best gift of all – a healthy family.

Children naturally look to parents as mentors and role models. That influence helps mold them into who they will be as adults and is a key factor in how they make decisions about life and about fitness. So make fitness a family affair.

Get Fit Together. Whether you walk together, bike together or even dance together, the important fact is that 1) you live an active lifestyle and 2) you’re doing it together. In the gym. exercise together and encourage one another to go the extra step and to not give up. Remember you, as a parent, are modeling a fit and healthy lifestyle. Also consider a fitness trainer who can tailor a mother/child program specifically to meet each of your personal goals, whether that’s cardio, toning, strength building or weight loss.

Eat Healthy Together. That large order of French fries may taste delicious, but is it really the healthy lifestyle you want for your child? One in five school-aged children is obese according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Make a healthy diet part of your everyday life.  Cut out the chips and sodas, and stock the fridge and pantry with healthy snacks like fruit, cheese, nuts or yogurt. Make going out to eat a special event and try to prepare more meals at home as a family. Not only do you have more control over the ingredients and quality of your food, but meal preparation becomes a family activity.

Take Care of Yourself.  As a mother, consider how important your health is to your family.  Fitness, specifically weight training, can help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis-related injuries. With strength training, you’ll gain improved balance and coordination, which helps you keep a steady step and not fall. It is also beneficial in preventing bone loss and building new bone. In fact, a recent study involving postmenopausal women, found that a year of strength training resulted in significant increases in bone density in the spine and hips.

Health and fitness can be extremely successful when you do it together as a family. At Jesse James Fit and Outlaw Bootcamp, we encourage families to get fit together. We work with clients of all ages and fitness levels to help them reach their personal fitness goals. Visit us at jessejamesfit.com to learn how we can be a positive influence to you and your family as you transform your life and begin working toward a healthier lifestyle.