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Quiz the Coach - My Family Needs A Lifestyle Change!

Reviewed by on Dec 27, 2006
Rating: 1 Star Rating

Quiz the Coach for free coaching tips, sports and fitness advice, running drills, motivation techniques and other health stuff for kids. - Page 2

So ya dig sports but need some help with your game? Don't understand some of the rules of football, basketball or hockey? Got a gripe about P.E. class, skateboarders, cheerleading, coaches, or anything? Why not ?

1Hey Coach,
I'm turning 13 and pretty active. I run every other day, play DDR for games, skateboard, am in sports, hate to be a couch potato and I'm trying to get my family into it a little. I watch what I eat - no junk food or sodas, but my family doesn't get much exercise and eat a lot of junk food. I don't know how I can get them to live a healthier life. My parents and older brother skip breakfast and sometimes lunch too. I know that they own and work at their restaurant full-time and that they're tired, but I'd be happy if they just ate healthier and exercised just a little bit.

My brother is overweight and eats plenty of junk food and sodas. I try to get him to go running with me but he insists on staying up until the early AM and waking up at around 11. My family thinks I'm crazy and I don't need to worry about it. I love my family and I don't want them to have a lot of health issues, as they get older. What can I do to help without seeming like too much of a health freak?

Hey couchchaos,
It's cool to see that you're concerned about the health of your family and looking to see them make important lifestyle changes. Despite what your parents might tell you, adults tend to be far more stubborn and set in their ways than kids are and so their habits are much more difficult to change. As a 13 year-old, it can be difficult for you alone to totally makeover what your family eats and how often they exercise. You don't buy the family groceries and you can't force your parents to "go play outside" or sign up for a soccer team. The best thing you can do is to continue to be a role model for a healthy lifestyle and try to get your family to make small changes as a start. Here's a few things you might want to try.

  • Offer to help your parents with grocery shopping so you can help them find alternatives to junk food. Healthy foods don't need to cost more than junk food and your parents may need some helpful suggestions on good foods to eat.
  • Challenge your brother to game of DDR or some other activity. He may not enjoy getting up early with you to go for a run - but his competitive brotherly instincts may be enough for him to get off his butt and try to take you down in a game of DDR or living room wrestling. Anything that gets the heart rate going is a start.
  • Educate your parents on the health risks connected to poor eating and exercise habits. Find some info from your school nurse or science teacher or head to www.americanheart.org. Parents sometimes brainwash their children into believing they know everything, when they often have a lot to learn about living a healthy lifestyle. But if you talk to your parents politely and sincerely, something is bound to sink in.
  • Ask your parents if you can help prepare a meal for them one night a week. If you cook them something that's tasty and healthy, that may encourage them to eat other healthier meals.
  • Organize a family physical activity night - even if it's just once a month. It could be a walk around your neighborhood, a game of football in the backyard or you teaching everyone how to skateboad. That may be hard to do with your parents' busy schedule - but they should be able to find the time to do it once a month.

  • Good luck and keep trying - any small steps your family takes to a healthier lifestyle can make a difference.

    Do you need tips or advice on sports, fitness or health? to the Kidzworld Coach. Keep in mind peeps, the Kidzworld Coach isn't a doctor or a professional athlete or anything like that. He's just a dude who digs sports, plays 'em and knows a lot about 'em. You should always talk to your 'rents, a doctor or your school gym teacher before starting a new sport or a new exercise.

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