Half marathons. Triathlons. Road races. Fitness classes. Personal training. No sugar challenges. I think you can see a pattern here. For a majority of my life, I have valued exercise because I liked the discipline. I liked achieving goals. I liked the stress relief.

There were times, I would try to force my husband and kids to go exercise with me. I wanted them to value exercise as much as I did. I would constantly tell my husband and kids, “If you don’t take care of your health today, you won’t have a body to take care of in the future.” So much for that approach—no one in my family has really bought into my approach to exercising.

Exercising in My Forties

As I near my forties, exercising for me is more about developing healthy fitness habits. Don’t get me wrong, I love how I feel after 60-minutes of biking or weight training; however, healthy living goes beyond exercising. It also includes healthy eating and meditating. The latter two, I am constantly working to improve.

It is very hard for me to be still and practice meditation and yoga. I cannot seem to get my brain to shut off. I like the challenge and the discipline of yoga, yet, I have to focus on improving this area of healthy living. Moreover, I struggle to find a balance between all the aspects of healthy living like finding time each day to practice the art of yoga and meditation, choosing healthy foods and unplugging from technology each day.

Encouraging My Children

It’s exciting to see that my attitude towards building a healthy lifestyle has resulted in our children making changes and applying healthy lifestyle activities into their daily lives. For example:

  • Our oldest daughter participating in a high school weight training program three to four days a week.
  • Our middle daughter starting a Fit for Life program where she is learning the correct technique of exercises.
  • Our son participating in a fit camp throughout the summer as well as swimming, wrestling and shooting hoops in our front yard.

This simple change in mindset is encouraging to me! My children are taking the necessary steps to living a healthy lifestyle.

As I continue on the journey of healthy living, I know that I also need to encourage our children to participate in this journey. I need to ask them to join me while I practice breathing techniques and mindfulness or ask them to help in the kitchen while I am choosing healthy snacks and meals. I also need to encourage them to have digital detox time every day.

Lastly, I cannot give up. The approach I had towards exercising for so many years, the “you must do this attitude” did not work and now I have learned a new approach. I cannot get frustrated when they do not jump right into yoga or enjoy a new healthy recipe. Our children need to have multiple opportunities to find the right path of healthy living that will work best for them.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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