3 Ways Your Kids Benefit When You Exercise

As a parent, you’re used to your schedule being dominated by your children. Whether you’re a new parent exhausted from sleepless nights, a pre-school parent trying to fit in bonding time between work and bed, or a parent of school-aged children who spends the afternoons and evenings in the car on the way to practice, classes, and activities, parenthood can make it seem like you don’t have any time for yourself. Even if you used to get to the gym regularly before you were a parent, getting there now might seem like more of a dream than a reality. No matter how hard it can be to fit exercise into your schedule, being active has serious benefits, not just for you, but for your kids as well. If you need some extra motivation to get up early, stay out late, or hit the gym during your lunch break, check out some of the ways kids benefit when their parents exercise.

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Image via Flickr/ Zach Frailey

1. Kids who have active parents are more active themselves

Studies show that when parents are active, even if they’re not working out in front of their kids, their children are likely to be more active as well. By showing your kids that staying active is important to you, you’ll be setting an example that can last a lifetime. Later on, when being active is a regular part of their life, your kids will be grateful for the example you set. 

{ MORE: Your Kids Will Never Be Bored Again With These Indoor Play Ideas }

2. Parents who exercise have more energy for play

Kids don’t care what size you wear, what number flashes on the scale, or how your jeans fit. They do however love when you spend hours chasing them around the yard, biking down the greenway, or swimming and splashing in the pool. When you exercise you gain energy and your kids, tired and happy from busy days spent playing their hardest with you, will be glad you’re not easily worn out!

3. Active parents live longer

As a parent, the thought of missing out on important milestones in your children’s lives is scary. While there are no guarantees in life, research does show that individuals who stay active through adulthood tend to live longer. As you watch proudly during big moments in their adult lives, your kids will be grateful that you took the time to take care of yourself. 

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So, next time you’re tempted to skip the gym, think of your little ones and make the choice to prioritize being active. Your kids will thank you.

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3 Ways Your Kids Benefit When You Exercise

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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