I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola’s Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.
My whole deal here is pushing art and design for kids – how they need much more of it on a daily basis than they get in school, and how it also plays into many other areas of their lives.
Similarly, kids aren’t really learning about health and wellness in school. I mean, sure, the basics are covered in health class, but what about all the decisions kids need to make when they get out of high school? How do they learn to incorporate exercise into their daily routine? How do they learn to choose the freshest produce and what to actually do with those crazy leeks they just bought?
In my sophomore year of college, I was faced with choosing my own groceries for the first time. I panicked. I took so long in the store to decide what to buy, and I think I left with a 12-pack of ramen noodles and a few cans of mixed vegetables. Seriously. That’s pathetic. At least I got some semblance of a vegetable in there, but I realized then I had learned nothing about what is involved in nourishing a body.
I ‘learned’ how to run from a friend in college my freshman year. She showed me how to pace myself and how long to jog for the first few times until I felt comfortable increasing my pace and time. Exercise was certainly not a part of my life growing up. Not formal exercise – I played all the active outdoor games with my friends and swam until I pruned up in the summer, but as soon as puberty hit, I gave up all of that nonsense.
Yes, I look completely crazy, but I am at the gym.
It’s up to us as parents to set good examples for our kids and teach them to make the right decisions when it comes to nutrition and exercise. It isn’t as easy as providing art projects for them to do. Especially since we have to be doing precisely what we are telling them they should be doing.
I have been given the most wonderful opportunity, and it happens next week. I am joining other Chicago-area bloggers for a Balanced Living Workshop hosted by Coca-Cola. I get to learn about family nutrition and fitness, meet with experts and set some goals. (Okay, goals are a little scary …)
I am so looking forward to this. I want the healthiest possible lifestyle for myself and my family because I know how it feels to be inactive, and I know how it feels to exercise regularly and eat nutritious foods. It took me a long time to really realize the dramatic difference between the two because I’ve sort of been piecing everything together. Now I get to learn from the pros.
I am going to make sure my kids learn this earlier – to have this stuff ingrained in their little brains so deeply that they crave being healthy. That and being creative, of course.