Huge thanks to my amazing, longtime friend Julie Weidenfeld, South Florida’s certified trainer extraordinaire and all-around fitness rock star, for contributing this brilliant piece to KewlBites! As a busy mom, personal trainer, and fitness expert who teaches P.E. to primary age students at a prestigious South Florida independent school, Julie brings to both the schoolyard and the local gym floor her unique knowhow for instilling the importance of exercise and well-being into youth at a young age. Here’s a must-read look at her tried-and-true tips and advice that will help your family embrace fitness, and make the most of your next trip to the gym at any age.
Thanks again, Julie! And, readers, be on the lookout for more contributions from this fitness guru and our new contributor, coming very soon to KewlBites.com!
P.S.: Be sure to check out Julie’s newest, cutting-edge project: TravelFit, Inc. is designed to get athletes at any level ‘Event Ready’, from special occasions to major competitions. The athletes receive workouts and support in a real-time, and/or virtual capacity for full accountability and measurability of progress. Surf over to www.travelfitinc.com for more details — Julie’s new site launches very soon, so stay tuned!
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin
It’s hard to imagine that, in about 20 years, the young adult population in America will never be able to say “I remember when I used to play with the neighborhood kids down the street until my mom called me in for supper.” First, no one calls dinner supper anymore Second, children don’t experience the freedom to roam their neighborhoods with other kids and explore, climb, run, kick, and jump to their heart’s content. Once age 16/17 rolls around, all the kids want to do with us is borrow our cars and ask us for gas money. Our world has changed, interests have changed, family dynamics have changed and play has taken on a new meaning. This is one of the many factors contributing to the approximately 12.5 million obese children in our country. The Center for Disease Control conducts regular studies to create the statistics of obesity in America, and has clearly outlined this growing unhealthy trend. Add to this the reduction of physical education in primary and secondary schools, and you have compounded the situation.
There’s no question that being a parent is a full-time job, on top of all the other jobs and responsibilities adults must face. The good news is formulating time to exercise together, or at least talking about it, is also an opportunity to educate children by doing, as Ben Franklin states. “Involve me and I learn!” If a child observes his or her parents exercising to stay healthy and fit, and sees (directly or indirectly) the positive results, that child will feel more compelled to participate. Open this door for your kids. Include them in activities, create the environment of healthiness by staying fit together. The benefits of creating this foundation of fitness as a lifestyle for your kids are endless!
In 2010 I completely reinvented my profession. Having come from the fast-paced world of finance, I realized that, without exercise I was unable to function with clarity and fluidity. I also realized that my son was struggling with his desire to improve his own sports performance and enhance his body image. While I believe he would have been involved in sports regardless of my fitness interest, it created an additional avenue for the two of us to explore together, and more opportunities to communicate. Becoming a fitness professional was a no- brainer for me. I couldn’t hide my passion to ‘inject’ everyone and anyone with getting fit. In turn, my son has created his own group of buddies with whom he works out, sharing exercise and nutrition ideas, and comparing results. Positive energy feeds positive results. Positive results become contagious. Kids who participate in exercise tend to stay grounded, focused and clean (meaning what’s put into their bodies). By engaging and supporting one another, we could make our world, our lives and the lives of those around us healthier, and in turn, happier!
Positive Attributes of Exercise:
- Positive self/body image
- Mental focus and clarity
- Enhanced body awareness
- Mental calmness
- Improved cardiovascular system
- More regulated blood function
- Improved organ function
- Stronger coping mechanisms
- Better sleep patterns
- Less Boredom
As Families, exercising together:
- Experience things together, creating greater and richer memories
- Always have a built in activity to do, when nothing else is happening
- Create opportunities for conversations about health and wellness
- Offer a common bond to always share
Written by: Julie Weidenfeld, President, TravelFit Inc. | www.travelfitinc.com
NASM CPT, CrossFit Level One Coach, CrossFit Endurance Certified, Mobility Certified, USA Weightlifting Level One Certified, XPE Master Trainer for Speed and Agility