Come January 2nd, 2019, this 27-year-old is going to be the father of a beautiful baby girl. Along with putting together the nursery and trying to overwhelmingly learn as much as I can in preparation for something that you can never be prepared for, I have made one important decision.
Exercise will be something I work to make a fun family activity. But more specifically, I want weightlifting to be something that we as a family do.
Now hear me out. My hope isn’t to make some sort of super child with bulging muscles that is bound for professional athletics. But there are 7 specific reasons why I want the Rizzo clan to hit the weights together.
1) Weightlifting helps cultivate a growth mindset
Weightlifting can be boiled down to this one process. Lift weights. Leave. Come back. Lift more weight or do more reps than you did before. Rinse. Repeat.
This iterative process is embedded in the ideology of “I cannot do this yet, but I will be able to if I work at it”.
A child who knows this fact and understands that it can apply to anything they want to achieve is someone who cannot be limited by the negative influences of the world around them.
2) Teaches the value of consistency and hard work
The only way you improve and reach your goals when it comes to weightlifting? Show up and put in the work day in and day out. Learning the value of the compound effect will pay off dividends. As it applies to learning in school, developing a career, growth as an athlete, and much more.
3) A humbling form of exercise
It has been 12 weeks of grueling workouts. All leading up to you going for a new personal record. Your excited, confident, and can’t wait to get that weight in your hand. Step up to the bar, attempt to do your lift, and it is one massive fail. Humbling right?
It is these types of moments in life that build character. That teach resilience. There is no debating the result, arguing it, or making excuses. You couldn’t do it. The only option you have is to reset and keep moving forward. Meaning failure is never a failure. It just another data point for one to learn and grow from.
4) Teaches them to enjoy being physically active
I have never met someone who enjoyed lifting weights who didn’t also like being physically active in other ways. Back when I was a competitive powerlifter and this big block of muscle and mass, I still loved to play soccer, golf, basketball, and ping pong. So my hopes that my child experiences the same love for being active.
There are so many ways that weightlifting can be beneficial for everyone. Especially as we go through the aging process. The benefits of weightlifting for seniors is actually astounding.
Despite all of these benefits, there are only 3 main reasons I want weightlifting to be a family activity that both benefit my child and my wife and I.
5) I don’t want to be a burden to my kids when I grow older
With age, there tends to be this inevitable deterioration of our capabilities. What we once were able to do slowly can become more and more difficult. As we are able to do less we become less physically active and begin to lose more and more functional capabilities and independence.
Thankfully, it has been shown that by adopting a lifestyle of weightlifting we are able to maintain and even improve our functional capabilities with age. With it our independence. We become less of a concern for our kids as they have confidence in our abilities to carry out our day to day life with no issues.
6) I don’t want to miss a moment and be fully involved
As we maintain our functional capabilities and independence we are able to always be a part of our children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Being “there” and being present are two different things though.
That is why weightlifting is so important. Not only are we capable of being “there” but it also does wonders for cognitive functioning. Everything from memory, learning, and higher level thinking can be maintained and improved through weightlifting. Allowing me to be fully present with loved ones.
Plus it helps improve mental health across the board. Knowing that issues like depression, self-esteem, mood, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and much more will be staved off and made better through weightlifting is reassuring. I don’t want anything getting in the way of any precious moment with family.
7) I want to be here for my family as long as possible
If I can move around just fine, I am fully present, and am leading my best life possible, what more could I ask for?
More of it!
Being around for as long as possible. Weightlifting can help with so many health issues. But, there is just one specific aspect that just trumps all. For this, I have to let my inner nerd out and talk about two studies.
The first study found that 20 minutes of light exercise daily could reduce the risk of early death by as much as 32%. Yeah, 32%… That isn’t even the best one. The National Health Interview Survey found that adults who were 65 years of age or older could have a 46% lower odds of all-cause mortality if they strength trained twice a week.
Just by making sure I am hitting the gym regularly for the rest of my life and bringing my family with me (as long as they enjoy it), there is so much good that will come of it.
Although I am not sure about much of what my life is going to be like as soon as we welcome our baby girl into our lives in January, weightlifting for my family and I is one thing I am absolutely certain about.
Nicholas Rizzo is a training, health, & wellness writer for RunRepeat.Com. A Boston native and ex-scientist with a love for the sciences, health, and helping others. He uses his science background to write comprehensive and in-depth articles in order to support readers to make positive changes in their life. His recent article on the 78 Science backed benefits of weightlifting for seniors was written with his own parents in mind in hopes of helping them, and parents like them, take action to live a more active, healthier, and happier life.