“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” Deuteronomy 30:11
We start with this verse as our focus today because what we are taking on is going to be difficult. Regardless of your current fitness level or the activity level of your children, getting everyone on the same schedule, motivating the entire family to participate, and making sure the entire family gets the workout they need, are all things that have to be considered.
If we believe that our bodies are gifts from God and that they are to be taken care of in order to use for His glory, we must believe the truth of Deuteronomy 30:11. If God has commanded us to do something (like train our children in how to be good stewards of gifts, for example), He will equip us to do it!
So now what?
Well, I would love to tell you that you can just start–“Get outside, get active, do a fitness dvd as a family….” But, that might not be the wisest choice for several reasons:
1. Some of the family might be less motivated than others. (and that might be you!)
2. Each family member has his/her own level of fitness and working too hard or not enough will not produce the in health, but hurt!
3. If you are not already active with your kids, they will think you have gone insane and begin the whine and wail technique to avoid this foreign activity.
4. Even if your kids are very active with their friends and sports, their actual “fitness” level might not be as high as you think.
This actually happened to me fairly recently. Although one of my children does well in school athletics and plays year-round recreational athletics, he lacks the “basics”. I had just assumed that he knew proper running form, had developed cardiovascular endurance, and was able to do some basic moves such the plank, squat, and push up. I know that he LOVES all physical activity and sports…I mean, the kid will watch anything from college baseball to documentaries on Ironman athletes. So, when I asked him to help me make a video for this series, he was “all in.”
And yet, there is no video…why? Well, suffice it to say, we need to start from “scratch.”
This brings us to our Focus on the Family (Fitness) task for the coming week:
In order to know what your family needs, you need to know what you currently have. The best way to do this is a Family Fitness Test. Everyone in the family can do this! I found this assessment list on everydayhealth.com and felt that it gave the best option for assessing the entire family on the current level of fitness. Now, for some, this list will seem overwhelming, so you might want to break it up and only do one or two at a time. If your kids are older, maybe choose the link in the article that says, “fun, whole family fitness assessment” (which is actually an adult/more advanced plan.)
*Next session, we will focus on proper form for many of the exercises in the assessment:
-alignment (supine, prone, and standing)
But for this first attempt at family fitness, just focus on keeping it fun and safe!
Remember, of course, that the ultimate goal here is to bring the family together, to create a space in your day for conversation, connection, and the ultimate CORE training- teaching your children about God and His love for them. Make sure that in your effort to get the family active physically that you are keeping the focus on building strength for God’s service. This may mean different things for each family. Some may want to do a brief prayer or devotional. Others may just focus on keeping everyone in a positive mindset and with an attitude of good sportsmanship..two things that are part of glorifying God. Again, this is a time of assessment and this includes the spiritual assessment of the family. If you already have a family dialogue about how our bodies are gifts from God and are meant to serve Him, then build on that. If you have not already studied and shared this with your family, try to find time to broach the subject. Here is a list of verses that might help from openbible.com: What does the Bible say about taking care of your body?
I hope you enjoy this week of Focus on the Family (Fitness)!!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes… I will keep you posted on how we do!