Character Chats

Let’s Talk Healthy Choices

Let’s talk healthy choices.

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social emotional learning program called True Character. I’m Master H, the owner and chief instructor here at the studio, and I have two master’s degrees in education, and we’ve developed this curriculum to meet our youngest students who are three and four, up to our oldest student who is 85.

Healthy Foods and Movement

And this month we’ve been talking about health.

We started off the month defining health, about making good nutritional choices, exercise, hydration, sleep, rest and relaxation, kind of meditation. Those are some of the healthy choices we can make.

We talked a little bit deeper about nutritional choices in the second week when we talked about choosing veggies, choosing fruits. If you’re at a birthday party, sure, choose the cake, but don’t overdo it. And we also talked about hydration and getting enough water. If you are a big soda drinker, maybe swap out one soda for a water and grow your healthy habit from there.

And then last week we talked about exercise and how for our younger kids, they get a lot of exercise, they get a lot of running, they have this never ending battery that just keeps going. And it’s choosing good exercise for us that’s going to help us feel good. Strength training, flexible, flexibility, stretching, those kinds of things, playing sports. And it changes as we grow and mature.

Positive Decisions

And so, this week we are talking about choices, making healthy choices. Well, what do you mean by that Master H? Well, for example, you choose not to shower for a couple of days in a row. Is that a healthy choice? No, not really. Not just for you and all the germs you’re collecting on your body, but also for everybody else around you that has to smell you.

You don’t wash your hands before you sit down for a meal. Well, what germs are already all over your hands? And now you’re going to touch food, possibly putting that in your mouth, which could lead to you being sick later on. You decide to not go to the gym that day and instead sit on the couch and watch TV the whole day. Not necessarily a great healthy choice to make.

We always have a choice. We have a choice in how we react to things. We have a choice in how we think about things. We have a choice in our actions towards something. We have a choice in what we choose to eat, what we choose to drink, what we choose to put into our bodies.

Consequences of Choices

We have the entire choice, right? So, how would you feel if you chose to eat junk food for an entire day? Probably not so great. Stomach ache, headache, tired, lethargic. But if you choose to fuel yourself healthy, now you have energy. Now you can think, you can complete projects, you can stay awake through school, you can do your homework.

Parents, when we understand this, when we watch our child have seven cupcakes in a row and they have this sugar high where they’re running around and their emotions are flying and they’re just going, and then all of a sudden we watch them crash out. And they’re in tears and they’re crying and they’re throwing a temper tantrum.

It’s the same for us adults. Only, we have a different way of regulating all of those feelings and all those emotions, and it just shows up in a different way. So when we are choosing healthy choices, we can understand that, yeah, there’s times that I’m going to choose something like a cookie, like a cupcake, right? And that’s okay. I’m not going to choose to have the whole pie. That’s where you want to make sure you’re making those choices. And we want to teach our kids and we want to teach our teenagers what those choices look like.

Confidence to Make Positive Decisions

And some choices we know are just bad. Smoking, drugs, running down the middle of a busy street. Running is good. Running down a busy street is not good. We can understand smoking, drugs, those are no good. Those are not good choices to make. We understand that. We see that. It’s giving them the confidence to be able to say, “Yeah, that’s not going to be a good choice for me.”

Maybe they’re on a sports team in their school and they can’t, shouldn’t, would not be good for them. We all know it. So, let’s give them the confidence to be able to say no to those things. Let’s give them the confidence to be able to say, “I choose this. I choose water over soda or alcohol. I choose fruits and veggies over something else.” Right?

Let’s give them the confidence to make those healthy choices, to say no to the unhealthy ones. Because we know we should have good hygiene. We know we should eat well. We know we should hydrate. We know we should get good sleep. We know that we should exercise and move, and we also know that we should take care of our minds, meditation, rest, relaxation, whatever that looks like for us. And when we’ve taken care of all of these healthy ideas, we’re taking care of ourselves so that we can remain strong and sharp and feeling good about what we’re doing.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here