Whether you’ve got one child, or a whole team of them…. once they become mobile, they’re going to keep you on your toes! As an actively engaged parent, you want to be able to join in that soccer game, jump rope with them, or go for a bike ride… or maybe you just want to lead by example, in terms of living a happy, healthy and active life.
If so, you’ll need to have a reasonably good level of fitness…. but what is ‘fitness’ anyway? ‘Fitness’ can come in various forms and each of them are important for health and enhancing quality of life. Here are the basics:
Cardio Fitness: is your physical ability to maintain aerobic exercise for prolonged periods…. like playing soccer or jumping rope. It’s how well your heart, lungs and vascular system can deliver oxygen to your working muscles during sustained activities.
Muscular Endurance: refers to repeated or sustained muscle contractions over an extended period of time…. like walking, running, vacuuming or even hanging out the washing.
Muscular Strength: is the amount of force your muscles can exert against resistance for short duration activities. Resistance can include body weight, free weights or any other weighted object. Carting all those shopping bags from the car to the house…. or lifting and carrying tired kids to bed, all require strength!
Flexibility & Mobility: refers to the range of motion and control of our limbs and joints when moving. This can include reaching up to top shelves or down to the back of cupboards… or crawling into an awkwardly built cubby house!
What are the Other Benefits of Getting Fit?
Improving your fitness will boost your health and reduce your risk of developing:
It can also help you to manage a healthy weight, as well as reduce the risk of developing some cancers.
Quick bursts of exercise will also give you an instant energy boost (even though that sounds a little counter-intuitive), will improve your mood and mental health, and will enhance your focus, concentration and memory!
With all these benefits of improved health, disease prevention, better daily functioning and performance, as well as living a longer life, it goes without saying, that your capacity to be a more actively engaged parent is greatly enhanced…. and that’s a bonus for both YOU, and your kids!