With a background in professional cricket of 10 years, I am no stranger to working hard and remaining healthy. After several injuries that could have prevented me from simple daily acts such as walking, I refused to make excuses and instead pursued health and fitness tirelessly.
From a young age, my father taught me being lazy was a travesty and this set me up at a young age with the mentality to give health and fitness 100%. This is also the kind of mentality I want to pass down to my boys.
Although finding time in between work and family is always challenging, the driving force is for my kids to see what a healthy lifestyle looks like – from exercising, eating healthy meals and enjoying an active lifestyle.
It’s the small acts that culminate to a larger goal such as reducing the chances of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and I hope my kids will be able to set a good example for their children in the future.
These are five things that I make a conscious effort to keep a healthy family and you can do the same!
Think you don’t have time to exercise? Why not take your kids with you? They may not want to join you straight away, but after a while you may just end up sharing a passion which solidifies your bond. My son went to a boxing training session with me for a year before he decided he wanted to take it up himself. Now, we work out together. He gets to develop new skills and improve on the ones he already has. Every week I can see him improve and gain a little more confidence than the week before.
Do you feel like you’re always behind during the week and bogged down by work? Take advantage of the weekends. Set work boundaries for yourself and devote time to your kids once the clock hits 5pm on Friday. One of our favourite things to do as a family is head to the Sunshine Coast and spend the day hiking, swimming or doing water sports.
With our busy lives, it’s easy to start taking ourselves too seriously. Having a desire to discover new places keeps life fresh and interesting. I don’t want my kids to grow up seeing healthy living as a chore. That’s why I like taking them to try new things like rock climbing or a new waterpark. Getting outdoors and seeing them thrive outside of their comfort zone is extremely rewarding.
Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t only about physical exercise. Diet and healthy meals are an important aspect of keeping healthy and living a balanced life. I’ve learnt what you put in your body has an impact on energy, sleep and overall feeling of wellness. To stay proactive of our eating habits, I prep meals on Sunday with the kids to keep all of us eating nourishing meals throughout the week.
A healthy lifestyle encompasses the mind as well – something that gets overlooked in the pursuit of physical wellbeing. Especially with boys, talking about feelings, issues or problems isn’t as prevalent or seen as important. Starting these conversations at a young age and encouraging kids to connect, support and encourage one another supports a healthy mind and cultivates emotional intelligence.