It’s a crazy time to be raising daughters. The bombarding pressures of body image are real and depression, anxiety and mental health issues are on the rise.

We know that social media plays a huge role in their lives. According to Marco Grados, associate professor of psychiatry and clinical director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital, “It’s all about the self-image — who’s ‘liking’ them, who’s watching them, who clicked on their picture” …or who hasn’t. It’s simply exhausting being exposed to that day after day, so it is not wonder that it is not good for them.

And for parents who did not grow up with these pressures, it can be an overwhelming and unfamiliar territory to navigate.

So let’s keep it simple.

We can’t change where the world is at as a whole, but we do have the ability to drastically influence the attitude and role of health and wellness in our daughter’s lives from a young age forward.

7 key lessons to instill to 
raise healthy, confident and fit girls:

– Move every day, but do activities that bring you joy, so it’s not a chore.

– Realize that your heart is a muscle and possibly the most important muscle you will ever have. If it stops working so will you.

– Learn how to properly engage your core muscles. They are your central support system, and will go a long way in keeping your out of pain and injuries.

– Get strong and be healthy while you can, because you may not always have your health and you never know when that will change.

Stress will manifest itself physically in your body and ruin you. Whether it’s a heart attack or just a cold that never goes away, it will suck the quality out of your life.

– Being involved in sports is one of the best things you can do for your self esteem and to keep yourself motivated.

And finally, if there is one thing you should know, possibly the most important thing, it’s “Listen to your body”. It knows YOU best.  It knows you better than anyone else’s opinion and when you have an inkling that something is wrong, listen. It is trying to tell you something.

Health is not about the appearance  on the outside, but how the system is working on the inside.  It all functions together . It’s all connected and it’s worth your time, effort and money to take care of it.

You only have 1 body to live in, so take care of it!  Life is short, live it well!

And remember mom, you are their number one role model and actions speak stronger than words.

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Written by Dawn Joseph
Dawn Joseph is an Online Personal Trainer who focuses on form and function! She loves to travel and kite board. Train with her online or ask her a question here.