Disclaimer: I’m NOT a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. The advice in this post should not replace that of your physician. I was also about to say, “this is not a sponsored post and is not promoting anything”, but that’s not really true. It is a sponsored post… my 3 year old daughter is sponsoring it, and she wants you to read it. She did say, “please.”
My daughter wants her daddy to be healthy and to stick around for a good long time. And if you asked her, she’s so sweet she’d tell you that she wants YOU to be healthy and stick around for a good long time for your kids, too. And by “stick around”, she doesn’t just mean alive, she means vital, strong and able to keep up with her for decades to come.
By now the discerning amongst you have figured out this is one of my preachy blogs. If you’ve read some of the others, e.g. about how to be a better dad, and such, then you know that I don’t post them because “I’m better than you.” I’m not. I post them to remind myself, even shame myself, into doing the things I need to do to be a better parent.
In this case one thing we ALL need to do to be better parents is to get and stay in good health. It doesn’t mean I need to have Brad Pitt’s abs, nor does it mean you need to have Angelina Jolie’s waist (yikes!), but it does mean we ensure we’ll be there for our kids (and our kids’ kids) when they need us. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for them.
It’s a really short simple list:
- Exercise at least 3 days a week – You’re going to tell me you don’t have enough time, right? I hear you. And you can even justify it? You have too much work (whether at home or an away from home job or both), or all your time is spent on the kids, yada yada yada. That will be a big comfort to your family at your funeral. Schedule it. Make an appointment. And as some advertising campaign used to say, JUST DO IT.
- Eat a healthy diet – Geez, I sound like your mom don’t I? Well, there’s probably a good reason for that. I likely also sound much like you do when you talk to your kids. BUT they learn more from what you DO than what you SAY. Show them by example. Eat less processed foods (especially white bread & sugar) and more vegetables & fruit. It’s not rocket science. You KNOW what do do. Did I mention, JUST DO IT?
- Add an hour of sleep each night – Yeah, I know; as parents we don’t have enough time as it is? If we don’t have time to exercise how are we going to find time to get a good nights sleep? Answer: we have enough time! Turn off the phone; turn off the TV; turn off the computer (are you reading this when you should be sleeping?) and GO TO BED. I don’t want meet your sleep deprived butt on the highway. JUST DO IT.
- Drink more water – I’m always tweeting about coffee. I love it, and I’m not saying don’t drink it. BUT researchers who tracked overweight women found that those who replaced sweetened drinks with water lost an average of five more pounds than those who didn’t. I’m guessing that trick works for dads, too? I’ll get hate mail for this, but replace one of those pumpkin spice lattes with a glass of water. JUST DO IT.
- Drink less alcohol – If you drink at all, then drink just the recommended max of 1 drink for women or 2 for men a night. Yes, I know it’s not fair guys can have more. And don’t just buy bigger glasses. I’m giving it up all together. I can get the health benefits other ways, and subtract those empty calories from my diet. I’ll save money, lose weight and be healthier. If you think you drink too much, cut down or quit. JUST DO IT.
- Get support in person or online – I’m writing this blog as a sort of commitment to YOU that I’m going to work on cleaning up my act. I’d love you to leave a comment and say you’re with me. There are also free (you don’t have to spend money on this) online resources like sparkpeople.com. Exercise with a friend. Get a personal trainer. The support will help you stick to it and make it more fun, so you JUST DO IT.
Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox. Everything I’ve said are things you already know, but are you doing them… consistently? Our kids need us. Not just today, but in the future. And we’re no good to them if we are weak, feeble or otherwise unable to be there for them. So join me; I’m committing to turn over a new leaf… hell, I’m turning over the whole tree. Tell me: will you JUST DO IT with me? Please.
[important]Please comment & share this with others. Sure it’s stuff we all “know”, but sometimes a reminder is helpful. That’s why I wrote this; to remind myself! :)[/important]