Fathers, Families & Fitness
Cornell McClellan, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
As a personal trainer, I’ve always placed a priority on maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. And, when I became a father and then a grandfather, I knew that I owed it to myself and my family to dedicate extra attention to the way I treated my personal health. My wellbeing was not just about me anymore; it was about the loved ones who would count on me to be there as a father, grandfather, husband and best friend.
That’s why I am joining the White House and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition to encourage all fathers and families to spend quality time with their loved ones and, in particular, to engage in the education, health and well-being of their children.
As all parents can attest, our roles as fathers and mothers are complex. Some days, it might be a struggle just to get everyone dressed, fed and out the door before work and school begin. Equally important as putting breakfast or dinner on the table, though, is actually sitting down at that table to enjoy some quality time with our loved ones. More often than not, this time spent together is when our values and beliefs are passed on to those who look up to us.
With National Men’s Health Week underway and Father’s Day approaching, I’m reminded of how critical this quality time is in educating our children on the importance of eating healthy and engaging in regular physical activity. As a dad, it’s my duty to ensure that my kids and grandkids continue to invest in their health, so what better way to demonstrate than by spending time with them and, whenever possible, integrating physical activity into our time together?
Whether it’s working out with my sons, taking a walk with my grandkids, or bringing together the whole family to play at the local park, I cherish these opportunities to get active with the ones I love the most. This Saturday, June 15, I will join like-minded fathers in Chicago to celebrate family and fitness. I encourage each of you to set aside time this month and find your own way to combine family time and fitness!
President Barack Obama said it best: “Our children don't need us to be superheroes. They don't need us to be perfect. They do need us to be present. They need us to show up and give it our best shot, no matter what else is going on in our lives. They need us to show them -- not just with words, but with deeds -- that they, those kids, are always our first priority.”
There is perhaps no greater deed than sharing quality time with our kids and investing in their long-term health and wellbeing.
* For more tips on how to share healthy habits with your family, visit www.cdc.gov/family/tips.
* For information about health insurance options that can help ensure your family’s security and peace of mind, visit www.healthcare.gov.