Leave it to Kim Kardashian to make a parenting choice that has the internet buzzing.
Kardashian has reportedly hired a personal trainer to get 2-year-old North West into shape. Although some think the idea of a toddler working with a trainer is something you’d only find among the image-obsessed stars in Hollywood, it’s actually a really smart parenting move.
Kardashian has been an avid fitness fan for a long time, so she surely knows the importance of being safe in the gym and how easily an injury can happen without using proper form. By having her own trainer work with her daughter, Kardashian is lowering her daughter’s risk of injury in a way that’s fun. A trainer has specialized knowledge to select exercises and drills for little North that are perfectly safe for her growing body — it’s not like they will have her performing dead lifts and squat presses!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011 (the most recent stats available), 12.7 million children in the U.S. between the ages of 2 and 19 were obese. That means roughly 17 percent of children in America aren’t getting enough healthy movement. With child obesity rates in this country being what they are, teaching your children from a young age how to make exercise a normal part of their everyday routine is a wonderful gift.
Kids love to model their parents’ actions and watch us for cues on how to behave. If you make a habit out of taking an afternoon jog, then soon enough, even your toddler will understand that when he sees you headed downstairs with your sneakers and headphones, you’re going for a run. If you bring them along in a jogging stroller, not only will you burn even more calories, but your kids might even motivate you to go faster, as a crying toddler is an excellent excuse to hightail it back to the house.
Or better yet, follow Kardashian’s example, and let your kids work out with you. Find a short workout video online, hit play, and let them burn off that extra energy by jogging in place with you or doing some jumping jacks. Yoga is another easy way to work out with your kids that won’t impact their growth but allow them to see how much fun staying fit can be.
You know how, after completing a really hard workout, you feel like you can conquer the world? You can give that same amazing feeling of empowerment to your kids. Teaching children to incorporate exercise as an expected part of their normal routine can help their self-esteem. We all remember the raging emotions and feelings of insecurity that come with puberty, but studies suggest exercise may help improve a child’s outlook and mental health.
When doing something physical becomes fun, it’s no longer exercise as we traditionally think of it and not a chore to be dreaded, but something to look forward to. The younger we can teach this to our children, the better chance they have for a long, healthy life.