Securing the Oxygen Mask

By Lou – October 6, 2010

About a month ago, my wife and I took a flight to Philadelphia to visit our families. Just before takeoff, the flight-attendant went through the normal pre-flight instructions about seat belts, overhead compartments and how to use the oxygen masks. Out of respect for the crew, I listened to the presentation as the other passengers dozed. When the flight-attendant instructed everyone to first secure their own mask and then attend to their children, I began to reflect on the greater importance of this issue’s featured topic.

If the airplane loses cabin pressure, parents are responsible for ensuring that their children have oxygen masks, and can breathe safely. This accountability is not relinquished once everyone steps off the plane either. Living a life centered on health and fitness is another great way to be a responsible parent.

Parents need to live healthy, fit lives not only so they’re equipped to meet the physical and mental rigors of parenthood, but also to encourage their children to develop healthy habits. Teaching one’s children how to be as healthy and fit as they can be is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give. And oftentimes, this guidance comes first and foremost from moms

I have witnessed the requirements of motherhood firsthand, and though I put in some fairly long hours at work, my workday has always paled in comparison to that of my wife. Her day-to-day job would make most CEOs exhausted, with its early mornings, multiple commitments and constant decision-making. But somehow she accomplishes all of this with smiles and encouragement before collapsing into bed. To this day, I’m still constantly in awe of a mother’s stamina.

The moms in this issue have shown us that when you make fitness part of your lifestyle, it becomes increasingly easy to live and be well. It can start with eating healthy, which is arguably the most crucial aspect of health and fitness. It can be difficult, but if you make this one change in your life, other good habits will follow.

Plus, just playing with your children is a great way to get in some aerobic exercise. And the great thing is that moving is fun for kids, not work. Also, simply cutting back screen time will affect the whole family. Of course, the biking, swimming, hiking and many other fantastic family activities make it easy to turn fitness into a lifestyle that’s fun for everyone.

While AFM has shined a light on the incredible women who grace our pages this month, this issue is a tribute to moms everywhere. It’s a celebration of moms who, by ensuring that their oxygen mask is secured tightly, are able to guarantee their children’s health and success in society. It’s a shout-out to mothers whose familial commitment is like a rock in our often confused society. Thanks to all of you for being moms — and for doing it all.

Keep Austin Fit,


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