With more than 16 years in the industry, personal trainer and gym owner Sam Wood has helped thousands of men and women transform not only their waistlines, but their entire outlook on health and wellness. Nowadays, the ex-Bachelor star and media personality is reaching a wider audience through his transformative 28 By Sam Wood program. If you haven’t witnesses one of the program's before and after images or motivational tips circulating on Instagram, then chances are you have been living under a social media rock.
Taking all our favourite excuses out of the equation such as lack of time, lack of equipment and heck even having children, Sam has created a program which caters to all needs, all fitness levels and is designed to transform one’s entire outlook on fitness. Going beyond a desire to lose a few kilos, the program is designed to help form lifelong habits and a healthy approach to food and wellness. No extended gym sessions and fad diets but rather balance and a desire to workout. Not because you have to, but because you love how it makes you feel and the energy it brings into your life.
So how has Sam’s approach to health and wellness changed since becoming a dad? We asked the father of two (soon to be three) to share the lifelong lessons he hopes to teach his girls.
How has becoming a dad changed your approach to health and fitness?
The biggest change is that I have far more empathy for other parents and the challenges that they face. I have a greater understanding of unpredictable schedules, lack of time, the need to make workouts convenient and the importance of ensuring meals are affordable and family friendly.
What lifelong habits are you trying to instill in your girls when it comes to staying active?
For me it’s about understanding that the drive for your children to get active/play needs to come from within. Suggestions of structured activity fall on deaf ears. They have to believe it is fun and they have to drive it. As a parent you just need to be a good listener and a good patient facilitator. A recent example is that with Eve we have found that she loves footy for the social aspect. She loves bike riding and we got her a Springfree trampoline for Christmas that she is absolutely in love with.
What is your approach to food when it comes to children and young teens?
The struggle is real and never in my life have I had a greater appreciation of how challenging it is. The greatest challenge is that they’re transitioning into this period of independence which means you don’t have the same control over what they eat. They’re not quite old enough necessarily to get deep on the education side so it’s just ensuring they understand enough on a level that is appropriate to their age so you have confidence that they make good choices when not with you. I also make a real effort to try as many different things at home which includes cooking with Eve. The more she has a healthy relationship with food and has an understanding of where it comes from, the better off you will be.
What do you love to cook together as a family?
We like to mix it up but more often than not we let Evie decide. She has quite the Pinterest board of recipes that she is excited to try out. Some healthy, some not so healthy but definitely a good balance.
How do you navigate Eve’s teenage years with a healthy approach to body image?
Our philosophy with Eve is trying to educate her at the source and ensuring she knows that what she sees online or in magazines is not necessarily real life. Making sure she has a good understanding of an importance of a healthy lifestyle but not deluding ourselves that she may still have a lot of questions. We ensure that she knows she can come to us about absolutely anything.
What advice do you have for parents raising their children in a digital age?
Try and be aware of which social platforms they’re using, how they’re using them and how they’re affecting their mood and behaviour. Ensure that you do have a screen-free policy of some kind. During the week it’s about making sure that screens are being predominantly used for homework as so much of this is electronic now. Sometimes this does mean freezing some of her social media apps.
What outdoor activities do you love to do as a family?
Walks, bike rides and playing at the park.
What advice do you have for parents wanting to keep their children more active?
Be a good role model and lead by example.
Try as many things as it takes, don’t assume your kids will fall in love with the first one or two sports or activities that they try.
What is the one piece of life advice you always share with Eve?
Be appreciative of what you’ve got as we really are so lucky.