profession, we have a tremendous opportunity to have a positive influence on a
lot of people. But, there are 168 hours in a week and we only see our clients
an average of three of those hours. Depending on the client’s age and the
program in which they are participating that’s approximately 4% of an
individual’s week that we have their full attention and direct impact on their
lives. The rest of the 164 hours we count
on clients to take what they have learned and apply it to their lives. But,
during those same hours, they are also influenced by family, friends,
co-workers and the media. THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!
it. What happens when my clients go home and continue their crazy-busy lives of
going to work, school, sports practice, scouts, music lessons, concerts and
running errands? The influence now falls back on their family and other people
in their lives. So, as you can imagine, it isn’t easy to adopt good habits when
those around you don’t have them. You
have the opportunity to create a positive impact on your entire family –
spouse, kids, your parents, your brothers, sisters, and co-workers.
nothing is more gratifying than seeing a family getting healthy together. At
Next Level, we currently have over 20 families training with us. It really
sends a strong message and it’s really powerful. Not only are families getting
healthy together, but the mere fact that the entire family is working out gives
them a common bond and something to talk about at the dinner or breakfast
table. Whether its gym workouts, sporting events or outdoor activities; it’s
all great family fun.
interesting how it all gets started in different families. So let’s take a look
at some of the family influencer’s and the way it all works.
Top down approach:
the time family influence comes from the top down. The leader of the house sets
the tone. If the leader is working out and staying active the rest of the
family is more inclined to do so. If the leader is inactive and a real couch
potato, the family tends to be less active.
It’s really hard to ask your kids to do something that they don’t see
you doing. Leading by example is a very positive way to get the family active.
Not only working out and playing sports but activities like family bike rides,
long dog walks or morning hikes in the Shenandoah Mountains can be great
bonding times and create lasting memories.
of the young people that we’re training these days, we’ve seen trends where by
kids are having influence on their parents to be more active. Young athletes
will start training at our facility and the parent will just watch for a few
weeks. Alongside our athlete training session is usually an adult group working
out. Parents will say, “hey, that looks like fun” and the next thing you know
parents and kids are working out on the same training floor doing similar
exercises but with their own peer group. On the ride home after the training
session, they share their experience; like how challenging their workout was
and how fun the trainers were.
trend we’re seeing at our facility is increasingly more couples training
together. Generally, it is the wife starting with us and then she encourages
her husband to give it a try. Before you know it they’re both training and
spending time together doing something productive, healthy and fun. Dinner
conversations include discussions of the day’s workout instead of how awful
work was or how crappy their boss treats them. It’s happy hour without the
But, it’s not just the working out and the sports activities
that keep people healthy; nutrition plays a huge role and I want to address
that as well.
One of the things I hear from clients trying to lose weight
“I have to prepare two meals, a healthy dinner for me and mac and cheese for my
kids because they won’t eat what I eat.” To this I always say “If processed
foods are not good for you, do you think they’re good your kids?” Keep trying
different clean eating options. Don’t
give up! You will find something they like. And, keep trying until you do. One
of my clients recently told me they finally convinced her 11 year-old daughter
to try salmon and the kid loved it!
“We don’t have time to eat healthy; we’re always running to
this event or that. We just hit the drive thru!” I get it. We’re all busy.
Here are a few nutritional strategies to help with the
healthy breakfast: the most important meal of the day. Try microwave
scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, oat meal or Greek yogurt and fresh fruit,
millet bread toast or banana with peanut or almond butter or a fresh fruit
smoothie in a blender. Avoid cereal;
there are a lot of studies out now that discourage wheat products in our
dinner meals for the entire week on Sunday and stock the fridge. So you’re
just heating dinner up when you get home. Get the kids involved in the cooking
and teach them how to cook healthy. You’ll be surprised once they get involved
how much they’ll get into it. Eat dinner at home; even if it’s late. If it’s
healthy, it’s all good. And, it gives the family a chance to circle up and talk
about their day. Stay connected!
healthy snacks in the car! If you feel like a taxi driver most evenings,
carry a cooler stocked with bottled water, nuts, seeds, grapes, apples, pears,
oranges or bananas. Greek yogurt and string cheese also make a good snack.
These snacks will keep you nourished, hydrated, and give you energy. Healthy
snacking also keeps your metabolism fired up and keeps your body from starving
and trying to store nutrients as fat!
small changes! Be careful with overweight family members-it can be a touchy
subject. Try to incorporate one or two small changes like reducing soft drink
intake and adding more water to their daily routine.
Get the family
involved with these tips:
Ask your kids how they feel after a practice or
Talk with your family about how great YOU feel
after a workout and how much fun you had during your training session. It’s a
subtle way to get your spouse going instead of just nagging them to start
exercising. They have to want to start. Once they get going amazing things can
Give them positive support. Even if it’s an
activity that they don’t excel at; the fact that they are out there giving it
their best is what really matters.
Keep trying new healthy recipes until you find
food that tastes good and is good for the whole family.
Cook with your spouse and kids: Ask for help and
give them tasks that they’ll think are interesting i.e. (making fruit smoothies
or homemade salad dressings in the blender)
Find short articles on healthy snacking and the
affects it can have on your, performance on the job or on the playing field.
Discover what motivates them.
Avoid the drive thru with on-the-go healthy
Small changes make have big impacts! Drinking
more water, getting to bed earlier, eating a good breakfast: start with one!
Recently, one of our clients told me that her husband
started training because she talked so positively about her experience instead
of begging him to workout. She said, “He had to want to do it. It had to be his
idea, and on his timeframe.” They’re experience has to be positive so that they
want to continue. Getting started is 90% of it!