By Nicole Nichols, for SparkPeople
Forget about talk radio, research labs, late night TV, or a magazine rack full of scantily clad cover models. Everything you need to know about fitness and nutrition, you can learn from your kids.
Here are 11 things children can teach you about healthy living:
1. Everything can be a game. Why slog through the same workout routines in boredom, when you can add a little fun? Make up rules, shoot for personal records, and regain your competitive spirit.
2. Don't walk when you can run. Every day is full of opportunities to increase your fitness. This rule is closely related to "don't drive when you can walk."
3. If you don't like it, don't eat it. Chances are, your eating habits won't stick around long if you hate what you're eating. Healthy eating involves balance and moderation.
4. Laughter feels good. Kids seem to inherently know that laughter can ease blood pressure, help your brain function, give you energy, and help you reach your goals.
5. Playtime is important. We get so caught up in work, and "have-to's" that we forget to take time for ourselves. Not only does relaxing make life worthwhile, it has real health benefits.
6. The world should be full of color-especially on your dinner plate! Splash it with as many colors as possible; paint it like a rainbow with food. It's more fun to look at, the most colorful produce options often pack the most nutrients, and chances are you'll be eating a healthy, balanced meal.
7. It's always more fun with friends around. Children tend to gravitate toward other children. It gives them spirit and makes them want to play all day. Working out with other people is almost like having your own little playgroup.
8. Adventures are found outside, not inside. Every kid knows that the good stuff is in the great outdoors-fresh air, wide open spaces, limitless possibilities. You can't find those things cooped up in a tiny, stale gym. Open the door and start a new adventure every day.
9. It's important to use your imagination. You can be Major Fantasia or Stupendous Woman any time you want. Give yourself permission to believe in your own super powers and let your mind take you wherever it wants to go.
10. Anything is possible. No fear, no self-doubts, no negative self talk, no self-criticism, no worries, no destructive anxieties or thoughts of failure. To a child, he/she can do anything. And do you know what? They're right.
11. You have your whole life ahead of you. Here's your chance to do it right.