The influence of Mom on (and Jack LaLanne) on a child’s physical activity

Thanks, Mom.

I have always credited my father for my fascination of physical fitness and strength.  I remember my dad doing pushups, sit-ups and other calisthenics when I was very young, and even recall him heading out the door to go jogging.  This was at a time way before Kenneth Cooper ever sat down to misapply his data in his book “Aerobics,” and confuse generations of fitness freaks.

Later my father and I would ride bikes past the levee along Lake Pontchartrain in Metairie where I grew up.  I was in my 20s, and he was in his 60s.  He exercised well into his 70s.  So you can see how I think of him as my main influence when it comes to pursuing fitness.

But then this article came out and it’s like something broke and suppressed memories started flooding out everywhere (weren’t we speaking of levees?).

I used to come home from grammar school and find my mother watching and exercising along with Jack LaLanne.  Naturally I took the opportunity to make fun of her, because I thought they were both ridiculous.  Ridiculous like a fever because it wasn’t long before I caught it and was running home to exercise along with her in front of the T.V.:  me, my Mom, Jack and our three chairs.

I was sad when Mr. LaLanne passed away last year.  He spent his life doing trying to educate people about the importance of fitness and doing inspiring feats of strength.  They’ve inspired me, anyway.  For better or worse, I turned out to be much more a training cheerleader a la Jacque than my personality might have suggested.

So thanks, Mom.  By inspiring me physically, you may have given me the gift of good health.  It’s about time you get credit for your influence.  And sorry i never saw the connection when you were still with us.


Children’s physical activity influenced by their mothers

Wednesday 26 March 2014 – 12am PST

“It is well established that physical activity is closely linked to health and disease prevention. Research shows that active mothers appear to have active school-aged children, who are in turn more likely than their less active peers to have good health outcomes. However, there has been little large-scale research into the association between the activity of mothers and that of preschool-aged children or about the demographic and temporal factors that influence activity levels in mothers of young children.”

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