Throughout the month of July we have committed to continuing our blog series for 2019.

This month we will be providing two posts with what we believe is hard to argue against but the most important reason to stay strong, fit and healthy – Your family.
We will cover the where’s, the whys and the how’s plus some ways we feel people can create habits to ensure they avoid the downfalls of not putting yourself first to put your family first.

Prioritising yourself to prioritise your family. This next story will initially seem irrelevant but stay with me here.
As a soldier I was taught to put myself first to protect my brothers in arms. This was a lesson in being an important part of a well-oiled fighting machine. If you yourself aren’t functioning at 100% then your comrade has to pick up the slack, if you become ill or injured because you didn’t look after yourself  then you have to be carried by your best mate now slowing him down and making him more vulnerable, if you switch off and aren’t paying attention and then find yourself injured or killed, your best mate is carrying you and not looking out for terry Taliban trying to shoot him in the back- You become a burden.

Moral of the story, look after number one and number one is I a position to help those around him.

So how does this relate to family life?
A scenario I witness day to day in every day life and also something I am involved with every single day is people who have done this themselves. They have put others first, sacrificed their physical health and sometimes mental health for the good of their loved ones. I applaud that, I will never knock that, but its short sighted, there is no longevity to this approach.

How many parents reading this have skipped a meal, stopped going to the gym or just stopped doing things they enjoy because they have devoted the time/money/whatever it is to a loved one instead?
I know my parents have, probably a thousand times. I’m proud of them for that, I appreciate it more than they will ever know and I salute anyone who has done that or is doing that.

BUT…..

How many of you out there have done or are doing this and can honestly say it’s not effecting your physical health, your mental health and happiness?
I hope it’s not and you think I’m talking nonsense and in that case either read on or don’t but I would put good money on the fact the majority of you can’t honestly say the sacrifices you make aren’t or haven’t effected you.

Lets look at some common scenarios of sacrifices we make and knock on effects:

Choice: Working over time to afford X,Y and Z for xmas presents/ birthday presents/ family holiday
Result: A happy kid and a week relaxing in the sun in Spain but high blood pressure, stress for 6 months prior

Choice: Skipping meals to save time to get your little girl to dance class
Result: You have an active, happy and healthy little girl but you are regularly depriving yourself of vital nutrients, low on energy causing simple things to be a struggle therefore increasing stress and blood pressure which then takes a toll on mental state

Choice: Cancelling gym membership to save money for less selfish family costs or just not being able to make the time to go
Result: An extra £20 per month in the bank but a reduction in cardiovascular health over time, reduced muscle mass, reduced bone density, aches and pains through lack of movement

It all sound very dramatic doesn’t it?
But I invite anybody to argue with me that  those choices don’t have those knock on effect over weeks, months and years of being selfless.

So where do these choices get you….You will be loved just as much as ever by your family, you will provide and be an inspiring role model.

BUT (and this is a big dramatic BUT)

Are you:

  • Not being fit enough to keep up with your young ones
  • Being a bad role model with health and nutrition to your young ones
  • Reducing your own life
  • Creating issues where you wont be able to enjoy your later years such as maybe career being cut short through illness/ailments, not being able to enjoy retirement through illness/ailments
  • And are you setting yourself up to be a burden on your family with preventable illness/ailments

I don’t say this to get a reaction or to upset people, I think it’s points worth us considering for a more long term approach to not just providing for our family short term with food on the table and them having everything they want and need but being able to enjoy and be a contributing part of their lives for many, many years.

So for those who I haven’t pissed off and are still interested, I’ll be putting together another post which will be a list of lifestyle habits which I think are easily introduced and maintainable long term to avoid some of the pitfalls of putting everybody else first.

This post isn’t meant to preach or put people down, just stoke a conversation or change the angle at which people look at their decision making towards doing everything they can for their families.

Thank you for engaging with our July Blog Series based around fitness with a family.
Our aim is to excite, engage and educate our clients and followers.

If you have any questions regarding anything contained in this blog, please do not hesitate to speak to your Personal Trainer or contact us directly.