All parents want happiness and health for their children. But how does a parent give that to a child? Through paying so much attention to your kids’ needs that you don’t have any time for yourself? Actually, research shows that one of the best ways to pass health and happiness on to your kids is to be healthy and happy yourself.
But how can a person be healthy and happy? Exercise is one of the keys to both. We all know exercise leads to good health, but it also tends to make you happier as well. Part of that has to do with endorphins that are released when you exercise, giving you a “natural high”. But exercise in general has been linked to lower depression and increased levels of happiness.
Guess what? If you are happy, your kids are more likely to be happy as well. In addition, research shows that your happiness is related to your efforts to mentally stimulate your child, the love and affection you express to your child, your positive interactions with your child, your being more supportive and less controlling of your child, your avoiding rejection of your child, and your increased communication with your child.
Moreover, your children are more likely to be healthy and happy when they see you modeling health and happiness. In fact, a study by researchers at Duke Medicine found that kids are more likely to eat healthy and be active when their moms model those behaviors themselves. So like it or not, you are a role model for your children.
There is, however, one more piece of surprising information: regular exercise may make your child smarter. A study conducted by Michigan State University found that kids who were in the best physical shape outscored their peers on standardized tests and got better grades. The study looked at all aspects of fitness, including flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, and body fat, suggesting that a well-rounded approach to fitness is also important.
All parents should make sacrifices for their children, but taking that to the extreme of neglecting your own health and happiness only provides a role model of the very thing you don’t want for your children.
More Information: University Park mom of four, Niccole Maurici is co-founder of StrongestMom.com. StrongestMom.com is dedicated to making moms the strongest they can be, both mentally and physically. The Strongestmom.com™ staff researches issues important to moms and publishes unbiased research summaries at strongestmom.com. We also produce fitness videos that are designed to help moms stay physically fit while keeping to their busy schedules. For more information on finances, happiness, fitness, and parenting, visit www.strongestmom.com.