What I Want To Tell My Daughter About Exercise


When I was younger, it made me feel good when people commented on my size. I engaged in exercise because I strived to look good for “swimsuit season”. In my early 20s, I exercised for other people. I exercised for my physical appearance. As I’ve grown, however, fitness and exercise has taken on a new meaning and the reasons behind me engaging in physical activity are so much deeper than appearances. My daughter, Harper, is only two years old but as she continues to grow there are things I want to teach her about the importance of being physically active. I want to write to Harper and let her know why I exercise and I hope she uses my reasons, as well as her own, to understand the importance of being physically active.

What I Want To Tell My Daughter About Exercise | Duluth Moms Blog


Right now, you love to run and climb and you are exploring your physical limitations because you are learning about how your body works. As you grow, the desire to run and climb and do other physical tasks may seem less appealing. I want to tell you why I believe that engaging in physical activities is just as important when you become a teenager and an adult as it is when you’re young.

Right now, your body is growing and it is important to honor your young body and allow it to gain strength naturally but as you age you can partake in activities to build muscle mass and endurance. Your body is like a car… now you know your dad is the mechanic in the family so bear with me as I make this analogy, but if a car sits too long, it takes a while for it to get moving and you need to use the right oil in your car for it to run properly. Your body is the same way, you need to fuel your body with healthy foods and move your body every day. You don’t have to run long distances or be a power lifter, moving your body may mean going for a walk, playing a sport, or doing some yoga. Move your body in a way that feels good to you!

I love to run as part of my exercise! A “runner’s high” is a very real feeling and it is one you get when you cross the finish line of a race. For me, that high comes from knowing that I put in the training miles, that I fueled properly, and that I persevered to accomplish a physical task that once upon a time didn’t seem possible. Give yourself that sense of gratification by setting a goal that scares you. Goals are supposed to be scary, that is what makes the feeling of accomplishing them so victorious. As I write this I am thinking about this coming June. In just six months I will be racing towards the finish line of my very first full marathon! Never did I think that my legs would be able to carry me 26.2 miles and as much as it SCARES me, I am confident in myself as a runner that I can do it.

My legs have carried me to the tops of mountains and the bottoms of waterfalls. I have seen some of the most beautiful natural landscapes because I was physically capable of embarking on the adventure. Do not take for granted your physicality. Keep your body conditioned so that you can climb those mountains and see those sceneries because the world is so much bigger than what you see on the daily. There are people who long to see some of nature’s beauty but, for a variety of reasons, they won’t be able to. Climb that mountain in honor of the person whose physical ailment may limit them, run that race for the runner who had to retire their shoes because of injury, always do your best in a sporting event out of respect for the others who are not able to compete on a team.

And finally, condition your body so that you have the independence to complete tasks that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. For example, if I need a box out of the storage shed, I don’t have to ask your dad to stop what he is doing to get it for me. I can move boxes and lift things on my own because of the efforts I have put into building my muscles through exercise. Harper, I will always be proud of your accomplishments but even more than that, I want YOU to be proud of your accomplishments! I want you to know that your body can do things that may not seem possible right now. Beautiful girl, you can do hard things! You are capable of so much greatness!

Love, Mom