Darin St. George: Set an exercise example for your kids
"Dad, how do you spell abs?"
I looked down at the grocery cart at my 4-year-old daughter, Emily Hope, and said aloud, "Emmydoodle, what are you talking about?"
Her older sister, Taylor Rose, answered, "You know, dad these things here," pointing to her own tight abdominal muscles.
"A-b-s," I said, only to be met with, "Are you sure? I thought it was a-b-b-s!" by the ever incredulous Rosie. Even in my own home, people don't believe me when I talk about fitness.
So here I sit, typing about what could be a pivotal point in my children's athletic development. Both are currently in gymnastics, Rose wants to play softball after talking to her jock-in-high-school stepmom Andrea Jean, and Emily wants to practice mixed martial arts with me whenever she can. Clearly, they've got a really proud dad who's also a personal fitness coach on their your hands.
Today, I'll discuss a few things that the watchful eyes of children pick up on and how you can lead by example in your own fitness and nutrition routines.
Give them structure but show them how to make lemonade. My workout regimen makes the Terminator look like an improv jazz musician -- you could seriously set your watch by my routines. I do, however, show our daughters that I can take a day off and not lose my mind and that doing pullups at the playground and pushups with them on my back is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. Working with what you are given is sometimes just the tool they will need through life, not just in sports.
Let them try your shake. This isn't a classic Trainer X metaphor; one of my cryptic Sanskrit-styled ramblings that make you take a nap after reading. Quite simply, let your kid sip your post-workout recovery drink. Mine have been stealing sips of Met-Rx here and there since they were bitin' ankles, and I know that when the time comes for them to get on board with sports supplementation, they will be ahead of the curve.
Let them be kids playing sports just a while longer. He or she probably isn't headed to the Olympics anytime soon. Let them play pressure-free sports while supporting them through both wins and losses. Fitness is a lot more fun when you're smiling.
Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.TrainerX.com.