Kurt Salquist

What if I told you, you could reduce your child’s chances of ever suffering from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, cancer and nearly all the diseases that plague the now majority our society. And as if that wasn’t enough incentive, you personally will reap the benefits as well. There is a very simple solution that can address all these diseases and  help your child be free of these ailments. Now I am not promising a magic elixir that can guarantee the prevention of any of these, but I can give you my word that you can significantly reduce your child’s risk of ever developing one of these life changing diseases by following these recommendations I am going to illustrate. And if you do not have children of your own, but you do have nieces or nephews, even brothers, sisters, of friends you want to help that may be facing one of these diseases; the approach I will provide can help them as well. I have seen it work many times, even when it’s unintentional and person didn’t have to say anything to help someone else within their circle change their life forever.

There is a story from my childhood that I think many people with children will relate to and demonstrate the concept I want to share. As its been told, I was about 4 years old working side by side with my dad in the garage. He was focused on repairing the family vehicle while I was doing the same but on my own Big wheel, the hood was up and I had the tool my dad had given me to do the job.  I watched every movement he made so I could do the same to my car.  While he was attempting to loosen a bolt that was in an awkward position, his wrench slipped off and his hand collided against the frame of the vehicle, he dropped the tool and unwearyingly taught me a few new words. Of course I was still monitoring his work so next thing I did was throw down my tool and spout off my newly expanded vocabulary.
I chose to reference this story as an example of how even at an early age, when children might be to young to understand what or why you are doing something, they are still watching you and learning the basic building blocks for their play and what will become the habits they grow up knowing. My own son, 18 months of age, can’t have a conversation with me yet nor does he use more than a handful of words, but he has learned other ways to communicate by emulating the signals we have taught like waving hello, blowing a kiss goodbye, and giving high fives. These are very common motions to see children of his age doing but he has also learned a few other movements that are not so common to see toddlers engaging in on their own cognizance like somersaults, pushups, squats, attempting to replicate movements with his 1 pound dumbbell he has seen us doing, and he insist on me picking him up so he can take a few swings at our punching bag that hangs down from the rafters in our gym. The best part is I have never had to teach him how to do any of the exercises he is replicating but instead I have let him play or watch when my wife or myself have gone threw our own exercises and provided a few words of encouragement when he shows interest in what we are doing. He finds this most amusing to imitate mommy and daddy when they exercise and he has even learned to give off a grunt when he tries really hard at something like hitting the punching bag.  At his age through pre-adolescence exercises should be only taught in terms of play. As they get older more specific direction and guidance can be implemented but in order for them to want to continue these patterns on their own, it must be associated with fun, friends or family. If our children can be exposed at young ages while they are still dependent on mom and dad then you can provided the most important tools for helping them grow into healthy adults that they will one day pass on to their own children.

If your kids are already starting their own families or you know others that need to make serious changes in their diet and start adding exercise in their lives, you can still influence them by setting the example. I have seen it many times, moms, dads, relatives or even just friends start training and transforming their lives and change habits that begin to influence others around them in their lives. It’s as if dim glowing amber within them has finally been given enough air and fuel to ignite into hot burning fire that gives off more energy and heat everywhere they go. There efforts are so noticeable it can spark a flame amongst others who have wanted this for themselves but they weren’t sure where to start or who to trust so it gave them one more excuse. And just like with our children, no instruction or nagging is needed, just let them watch and see what you are doing, when they are ready they will ask what you what you have been doing and how you got there. I should know, it’s been the key component of my business as a trainer, referrals based on results. With so many different diet books and recommendations on exercises someone who feels they are so far gone is often intimidated on where to start and it prevents them from even trying. But your success can be the beacon in the fog and help guide them back to shore if they are ready.

If you have wanted to help your family or start changing your own life, find someone you know who has the spark and get started today. Don’t wait until tomorrow or later, if you had time to read this then I’m, sure you have time to send an email. Here, I’ll help; you could even copy and paste this short insert and be done with the first step in 60 seconds:

Hello (inset name),

I wanted to first tell you, you have been an inspiration to me when it comes to improving my own health. I am ready to star making some big changes in my life and I was hoping you could recommend the trainer or program you have been using so I can start the next step.

sincerly and thank you in advance,

(your name)

Ask them where they workout at, who helped them get started and what suggestions they can give you, so you can lite the spark within your family and friends.  By making a commitment to better your life, become and feel stronger, and find more energy you can help those who matter most to you. Now open email and go do it!



Enjoy and Live Life,

Kurt Salquist

Therese Martinez, MS, RD, CPT

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