Kimatni Rawlins is the proud father of two young girls and founder of Fit Fathers, a blog aimed to inspire men to lead the charge to prioritize healthier eating and exercise, and enhance their lives and the lives of their families. Today, in honor of Men’s Health Month, he’s here to share some of his tips for healthy parenting.
Fathers are one of Earth’s most important treasures, impacting lives and shaping what our children find important in life. Fathers lead, teach, protect, discipline, and set forth strategies that enhance the welfare of their daughters and sons.
Here are five approaches that can be utilized to celebrate fathers and place focus on the tools needed for long-term health and life enhancement:
1) Take the Fit Father’s Pledge: June is Men’s Health Month, an opportune time to make a pledge toward a healthier you. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high, while hypertension and other health risks have increased in men 20 years and older. Try to commit to specific healthy choices and increased fitness goals. You can also take the Fit Fathers pledge by clicking here.
2) Organize a Group Ride or Run: Have you run a 5K or gone deep into nature with your buddies on mountain bikes? Training for a 5K is a great way to put you in top shape for participation in group activities with friends or other dads. Try a destination run for an endless array of experiences around the world with the ones you love. Or ring up some father friends and go for a morning ride to burn calories so you can enjoy brunch guilt-free. (But don’t overdo it—the stomach is only the size of your palm!)
3) Eat to Live: Do you consume foods to increase vitamin, mineral and nutrient intake, or to satisfy mental cravings for comfort foods? Sickness and chronic disease are more prevalent than ever, which is why now is the prime time to finally say no to destructive eating habits and become more proactive with your kids’ diets. Begin swapping chips, cookies, and sodas with fruits and smoothies. Plain popcorn with a few pinches of Himalayan sea salt and Vegit are your best bets for replacing the crunch of potato chips. Try to cook more meals at home and eliminate or reduce your fast food intake. Say no to white, enriched foods and yes to whole grains (for example, brown rice and quinoa over white rice) and add more cruciferous green veggies like kale and asparagus to your plate. It’s a stretch for some, but well worth it for your family.
4) It’s a Family Affair: Enjoy energetic activities with your family such as soccer, volleyball, tennis, or hiking in nature. State parks are ideal locations for staying active and enjoying pure oxygen from Mother Earth. Host a picnic ripe with whole foods and freshly squeezed juices.
5) Become the Family Coach: It’s important for dads to engage in physical fitness and employ smart food choices. Continue to motivate the family with daily exercise tips and nutritional recipe ideas. I enjoy cooking and love when my wife or daughters make a special request such as our veggie stir fry tofu or BBQ cauliflower wings. More importantly, I absolutely adore when my youngest puts on her helmet and demands that we go for a ride. That comes from years of silent coaching. Lead by example so your child becomes the example!
You got this, dad.
More of Kimatni’s writing can be found at www.fitfathers.com.