Getting and staying in shape is important for you – but your workouts may be more important for your family. The reason: your family is inexorably drawn to follow your fitness example – for good or bad. How you manage your personal fitness and nutrition has a ripple effect that spreads across your entire family.
Your “personal ripple effect” may be one of the most powerful forces shaping your family’s mental and physical future. Consider the following:
We are products of our environment. We gravitate toward what we are repeatedly exposed to. It’s a simple matter of repetition. The more we see, hear, use, or eat something the more it becomes ingrained in our psyche. In fact, social scientists believe environmental repetition may have an effect on gene expression and can literally change your biochemistry.
The power of suggestion is strong. The power of repeated suggestion is practically unstoppable. So if you’re making poor fitness and nutrition choices at any age, it’s likely your family will be making the same choices shortly.
“When Junior sees Dad parked in front of the tube and digging into a bag of chips, it’s hard to resist the same lifestyle. And chunky Mom, plus chunky Dad, often equals chunky kids”.
The evidence is compelling. Your example, your behavior, your habits are being absorbed by your family at warp speed. The secret is making it a blessing instead of a curse.
It’s never too early or too late to start. In the research center, my staff and I see the impact that consistently exposing people to a healthy lifestyle has on individuals. As people mature, they embrace exercise as a natural, fun part of their lives.
You have the power to influence the health and fitness of every person in your family (your children, your spouse, your siblings, your parents — and even your friends). The fitness habits you help them build will keep serving them in every area of their life. I can think of no better gift to give people than the gift of health.
But here’s the secret…
You absolutely must lead by example. Never “tell” a person what they should do, just keep living a healthy life in a tight lean body, and people will instinctively gravitate to you and learn from your examples.
The process for some “hard-headed” folks might be a bit slower, but they’ll come along once they see how much more fun you’re having in your new body than they could ever hope to have unless they pick up the pace and learn from your example.
So how do you do it? It’s a day-to-day process and a series of repeated small steps that add up to awesome health habits. Every time you choose the vegetables over the chips, a walk over a drive, and an active game over T.V., you’ve just made another donation to yourself and to your families lifetime health and fitness fund.
It’s your personal ripple effect in action…