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If you could wish anything for your children, what would it be?
No doubt your wishes would include for your children to have a happy, healthy, plentiful childhood to enable them to grow and build the life they deserve. Naturally we wish this for our children, our children’s children and beyond.
If we re-wind back to our own childhood, we were fortunate enough to have this type of life: less access to junk food,we exercised daily playing outdoors till it was dark and with little access to technology we had no choice but to use our imaginations through creative play. Somehow, through the pressures of our lifestyles we have moved into unhealthy habits as adults.
As many of us know once established, these habits can be difficult to shift.
Now, in order to give our children the best opportunity to excel in life we must break our bad habits and re-wind to the values of our childhood, so to honour our wishes to give them the best chance at life. Not to have our children develop their lifestyle habits based on our current ones, rather than to build upon those we know of our childhood.
“The Future Belongs To Those who Give The Next Generation Reason For Hope”
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Today we are thrilled to speak to the inspirational Mike Searson, CEO of GrowFit, Australian Small Business Champion Winners 2016.
Celebrating their 5th Anniversary and committed to battling childhood obesity Mike has this mission in mind; to make lasting change, to grow a healthier Australia and help shift unhealthy habits our population has developed in the last few decades.
How else to do this but through educating, exercising and inspiring our youth, starting with our pre-schoolers…
Q: As an Award Winning program please tell us a little about ‘Why’ you started Growfit?
A: I just love working with pre-schoolers as it’s such a fun age, they’re little sponges and they’re untampered by the ways of the world and negative aspects of our lifestyle: television and the foods gets imposed on us as we grow up.
As a personal trainer for 10 years I could see once we have adapted bad habits it’s so hard to un-do. It’s challenging to change this culture.
I felt I would have more impact starting a-fresh, if we start introducing healthier lifestyles habits from a young age then we can develop a whole nation of healthy and active children.
To “grow” the next generation of healthier Australian’s.
That’s where the name, GrowFit came from. We want to grow and encourage them to stay this way for life.
To “grow up” fit and healthy.”
Q: If you were to leave a legacy, what would it be?
A: “I want to help grow a healthier Australia and help change the unhealthy lifestyle choices over the last couple of decades.
To break the cycle that it’s easier to be un-healthy.
Now in it’s 5th year I wish for GrowFit to be National so we can positively influence a whole nation.
What’s really important to me is to leave something that will make a difference in the world, for generations to come.”
About one-quarter of Australian children aged two to five are overweight and one in 20 is obese.
Q: How does GrowFit’s program compliment the Pre-school system?
A: “We assist pre-schools by making their jobs easier as we’ve built the GrowFit programs to align to the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards guidelines that every centre has to follow. We assist teachers by reducing they’re reporting and enable them greater amount of time to focus on teaching.
Our 30 min program includes:
- Acknowledgement of Country: Acknowledging our Elders, former custodians of the land the different Indigenous communities who lived before us.
- Warm up:– Importance of why we need a warm up, starting with basic fundamental movement skills, and of course picking up on any children who may need any extra focus or help.
- Health topic– Every week focus on different health topic. Depending on their ages focusing on hygiene, to sharing, discussing feelings, to healthy vegetables, talking about our heart and the organs and bones. We are trying to educate a whole holistic approach to educate on a different topic every week.
- Creative stories: Multi-sensory activity using their imaginations we take them on an adventure. Build the story together.
- Gross Motor Development Skill: we rotate around 20 different sports and work on their skills
- Cool Down: Teaching them the importance of heaving a stretch, focus on breathing exercises, how to calm downy and how to be being mindful.”
Obese preschoolers’ healthcare costs nearly 60% more than healthy-weight children.
Q: What small lifestyle changes can busy parents adopt to help develop positive health awareness at home?
A: “A child’s first teacher is always going to be their parent, they are sponges. If parents demonstrate to children that having a healthy lifestyle in a normal thing it will be a normal thing for their children.
Enjoy spending time with your children… have fun.
They’re not always going to want to have fun with you as they grow up so make the most of these beautiful time and this great age.”
Q: Adapting healthy habits can be difficult, what would be GrowFits’s best tips for parents to stay committed to it?
A: “Just remember to integrate lifestyle changes one day at a time.
It’s important to have a goal to work towards, equally to remember life is about balance.
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day to get to the park, there’s always tomorrow. It’s one day at time and staying positive.”
Teach them right habits then, and their future life is safe.
Q: What would be GrowFit’s Top 3 Tips for parents to develop a healthier lifestyle?
A: “1- Understand that every child is different, you shouldn’t set a time that they should be achieving something.
They will achieve their milestones in their time, when they are ready.
Allow them to grow into their own is really important.
2- Always focusing on positive encouragement to motivate your child
3- Lead by example: Children see their parents the most especially for the first five years.
“ If you want your children to be healthy you have to be healthy first, they will follow that”
Q: Any stories of transformation you have to tell- good news stories?
A: “Over the past 5 years we have a few, you can read one here http://growfit.com.au/our-story/
In the past term my fiancé Alex and I have been stopped in the street 3 times separately. One time I was buying something and the lady at the counter noticed my uniform and said..
“GrowFit, my daughter does GrowFit and she has done for the past 2 years.
It’s the most happiest day of Pre-School that she has.
Every other day she doesn’t really want to go but when I say it’s GrowFit day she’s ready to go with her bags packed and she’s like “we’re going to pre-school”
We did a special Olympic session talking about paralympics etc and made gold medals which every child was given. She didn’t take hers off for the rest of the week, she had to force it off her when she went to bed.
If you want your child to have these experiences contact Mike at
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