Coaches across all sports stress the importance of the fundamentals. These are the baseline skills that all athletes need to master before they can rise to an elite level. For example, it’s extremely difficult to become a professional basketball player, but it’s even harder if you don’t dribble well. Likewise, it’s much more challenging to live a full, vigorous life without attending to the fundamental elements of a healthy lifestyle. That’s why it’s crucial for parents to instill good habits in their kids from an early age. When they do, it becomes much easier for their children to make good choices as they grow into adults.
For example, it’s a good idea to encourage your children to participate in sports. By joining a team with their peers, they become more social and more active. A family bike ride is another recreational activity that establishes exercise as a fun way to spend time together. You can encourage healthy eating habits by choosing wholesome options instead of processed chips or cookies when you prepare your kids’ school lunches. Giving them carrot sticks and sandwiches made with whole-grain bread sends the message that they are what they eat. And even though movie night may be a beloved tradition in your house, be careful to avoid letting your children spend too much time in front of a screen. Limit their consumption of video games, the Internet and mobile devices by making them earn their screen time through chores and good behavior.
Getting a handle on the fundamentals is important for any activity, including living a healthy lifestyle. For more tips on how to give your kids a foundation for a better life, see the accompanying infographic.