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Real Men Sweat to Live: Fitness Begins First with Fathers
Real Men Sweat to Live: Fitness Begins First with Fathers

Often times when we think of healthy living and keeping fit we usually think of mothers.  Due to tradition, women are thought of as the sole provider of health and proper dieting. Nonetheless, both parents play an equal role in the health and fitness of the family.

If you take a minute and think about a father’s role for family health and wellness; fitness usually begins early. The fathers “brand” of fitness is displayed differently; in some cases in the form of daily play and interaction. He is usually the first to toss a child in the air, or bounce him or her on a knee.  Secondly when a ball is tossed to the child he or she indirectly develops gross motor skills, along with eye and hand coordination. Even in the act of playing horsey where the child rides on dad’s back, the child learns balance.

So many lessons taught so early last a lifetime.  As the children age the father is usually the one who introduces the child to team sports, such as football, baseball, soccer, track, etc. Inherently we know that males usually lean towards rough and tough physical activities and usually have a ball of some sort in the mix.  The introduction to sports helps children in their social interactions for life.  Ultimately we know spending time with our children can strengthen relationships, as well as teach our children a variety of ways to be healthier.

Here are some ideas of activities dads can do with their children.

1. Play catch.
2. Bike ride through the local park.
3. Organize a neighborhood game of football or basketball with other fathers and their children.
4. Cook dinner together to give children a chance to select healthy foods.
5. Team up together to do housework or yard work.
6. Teach children the importance of regular exercise by going to the gym, running or walking and allow children to set their own pace to adapt to their own limits.
7. Encourage your children in their athletic endeavors by attending baseball, football soccer, dance recitals, swim meets or whatever your child’s sport of choice. Be there to cheer them on!

One of the most important things a father can teach his child about life is how to live a healthy one. Children are always ready and eager to learn from their father. Children with a closer bond with their father have a stronger sense of self, a healthier view of competition and physical abilities.   Fathers who watch what they eat and are more motivated to be physically active, will encourage and ultimately influence their children to do the same.

The most important thing to remember is for fathers to remain open and flexible and create opportunities for fun and fitness with their children each day. This will foster a close bond between a father and a child and memories that last forever.

Written By Dwight “MRCARDIOTONE” Calhoun and Jennifer Parmley for