Timeless Health and Fitness Secrets We Learned from Mom

Especially when it comes to health and happiness, mom knows best


It’s a cliché, but it’s true: mom knows best, and that’s why her tips for a healthy and happy life are ageless and enduring.

And lucky for us, the healthy habits our moms teach us are likely to become our own.

“Eating behaviors and health behaviors, we scientists have found, are largely learned from parents,” says Christen Cooper, a registered dietitian, doctoral candidate in nutrition at Columbia University and mom of two.

Rene Ficek, a registered dietitian and the lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating agrees. “Moms hold a key role in developing their child's eating habits,” she said. “These eating habits are something children take with them well into adulthood.”

She explained that adopted habits can include everything from eating regularly and eating breakfast, to an affinity for sweet or salty foods and portion control.

Of course, nutrition lessons aren’t the only thing we learn from our mothers. We celebrate them—on mother’s day and throughout the year—because they share boundless love and wisdom throughout our lives.

The following “secrets” are just a few of the timeless health and fitness tips they’ve bestowed upon us over the years.

Go Play Outside

Think back to your childhood: we bet you can hear your mom asking you to “please shut off the TV (or computer, or video games) and go outside for a little bit.” Likely, her request wasn’t just because she wanted some peace and quiet; she knew that getting some fresh air was important to your health. Rebecca P. Cohen, an outdoor lifestyle expert and author of “Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids,” says that spending time outside is important to your overall well-being. “Fifteen minutes outside is a daily tool in my toolbox and a gift my mother gave to me that I now give to myself and my children,” she said. 

Take a Deep Breath

Moms arguably have one of the most high-stress jobs of all time, which makes the fact that they can teach us how to be calm and level-headed all the more incredible. “My mom begins every morning with a quiet time— reading her devotional, praying and writing in a spiritual journal,” says Eliza Cross, a lifestyle writer and author of HappySimpleLiving.com. “She is one of the calmest, most centered people I know.” Cross says that she’s followed this example for years—getting up early to reflect, meditate and write in a gratitude journal with her morning coffee. “This practice helps me focus on the special moments and simple blessings that surround me.” 

Click here to see more timeless health and fitness secrets from mom.

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