It’s fun to go back and reminisce about your childhood. All that freedom, energy and a thirst for learning new things – it really seems like you could accomplish anything at that point. Our parents have a huge influence on us during those formative years, as we look up to them for guidance and try to emulate them. While most people get some decent pointers and pick up a few useful habits and skills form their parents, the kids whose parents work out regularly have some fairly unique benefits.
Of course, we can’t over generalize as each person is different, but most physically active people have some characteristics that can make them good parents. Living under the same roof and growing up with such parents can actually make things fun and interesting, if somewhat unusual at times. Here are some of the amazing things that kids with parents who work out experience.
1. You get to have tons of fun playing around as a family
Most parents are busy with work and when they get home just want to sit back on their comfy sofa and watch some TV while eating snacks. Well, parents who work out actually revel in physical activity, making it a point to include their kids in workouts, yoga session, or just like to jump around and play as if they were kids themselves.
2. You learn about patience and discipline early on
It takes a lot of work to get good at certain movements, be it punching or jumping, and plenty of mental toughness to go through a challenging workout. Over the years this makes you fairly patient and improves your discipline, particularly when your parents set a very good example.
3. You always have tons of great smoothies in the fridge
Let’s face it, kids love sweet things, but while most kids drown themselves in tons of unhealthy soda drinks, when your parents are into fitness you get to drink plenty of wonderful natural smoothies instead. There is always a container of fruity goodness lying around in the fridge, and it gives you a great energy boost for the day.
4. You get to go and play outside all the time
The problem a lot of modern kids face is that it’s very fun and easy to sit in front of the computer all day, and you rarely get a good chance to go outside and play. However, when your parents are always going to the park to play some Frisbee or catch, going out for a run, going cycling or swimming, you get to have a great deal of fun in the sun with them. It’s a great chance to meet other kids and develop lasting friendships.
5. You develop focus and learn to keep pushing forward
After learning to push through the pain and keep running, or doing those last few repetitions, you program your brain to work through tough times, think quick under pressure and to accept failure as a natural part of training. The biggest benefit you get from hard training is the specific kind of fighter mentality that you develop during your journey.
6. You have a fully equipped hiking backpack sitting in a corner of your room
The thing about having physically fit parents is that they tend to be good at and enjoy doing all sorts of outdoors activities as well. Hiking and picnics are a great family activity as they are both physically taxing and incredibly fun, and being that you often end up going on impromptu hikes when the weather is good, you’ll find yourself packing tons of gear in your backpack and having it standing by the door so that you are ready to move at a moment’s notice. It does add a sense of adventure.
7. You develop an excellent posture
I’ve seen plenty of people who have had back problems and mobility issues that were related to bad posture that they developed as kids. They had to spend a lot of time doing corrective exercises and stretches as adolescents and even in their twenties, while kids who exercised regularly with their parents always had excellent posture and never complained about tight muscles or aching joints.
8. You are forever known as the limber ninja kid
Having parents who work out regularly means that you pick up some interesting skills while exercising with them. When you can do the splits, cartwheels, handstand walk for several yards and sit in a full lotus position, other kids tend to give you the honorary title of class ninja. It is a prestigious and highly respected title, and it gets you a lot of bonus coolness points, although you are expected to occasionally perform your ninja athletic feats during gatherings.
9. You can outrun most of your friends
It may not seem like a very useful skill to grown-ups, but on the playground being able to outrun other kids can give you a big edge. Being fast is a bonus for any sort of sport, and it’s especially valuable for boys who sometimes tease the girls and have to run for their lives when they get angry at them.
10. You start to understand that good things take hard work and dedication
You can’t really get really good at something if you just go at it once or twice a week for a couple of months. While kids tend to be hyperactive, and have a lack of focus, they can also dedicated a lot of time to something if they really want to develop a certain skill. With proper motivation and with your parents there to push you forward, you quickly learn that hard work really pays off, but takes a bit of time.
11. You get to taste truly healthy breakfast cereal
All cereals are marketed as a part of a nutritious breakfast, or they at least shove the word “breakfast” in front so you’ll feel it’s only natural to eat a bowl of cereal in the morning. However, most of the breakfast cereals out there are full of high fructose corn syrup and are not exactly nutritious. Parents who work out and care about their figure will have a stash of organic cereals, nuts, as well as fresh, dried or dehydrated fruit, which allows you to mix up your own unique breakfast treat. Not only are they delicious, but they make you feel good and energized.
12. You know the Latin names for parts of the human anatomy at 7 years old
An interesting side-effect of being around the fitness world from a very young age is that you won’t be able to just say my arm is sore – you get very specific when talking about body parts, and throw around terms like biceps, deltoids, supinate, abductors, thoracic, and so on. At first it will sound jumbled up and weird, as you won’t be able to speak your mother tongue very effectively either until a certain age, but with time you will come to slightly annoy your classmates and friends when you spout Latin words in the middle of a sentence. On the bright side, a lot of people will be impressed by how smart you sound.
13. You tend to deal with bumps and bruises very well and heal up fast
Kids run around all the time and they tend to get cuts, bumps, bruises and fractures, but when you keep your body active and eat right you suffer far less serious injuries. You might trip and fall hard, only to dust yourself off and keep going. All the healthy food your parents have you eat and all the exercise you do ensure that you develop strong bones and an impeccable immune system. You’ll get sick from time to time, but it never lasts for more than a day.
I guess growing up in different environments results in different benefits, but when it comes to developing overall health, mental fortitude and good work ethics, nothing beats having parents who work out regularly. They set a great example, and prefer to teach by doing. There are tons of little things that you pick up in that kind of family that can be very useful for you later in life.