Each month we profile a Houston celebrity and ask him or her to share their exercise and healthy living tips. This month, we feature John Dawson, KRIV FOX26 Meteorologist and Vic Coppinger Family YMCA member.
YMCA: How important is health and wellness in your daily life?
John: I like to think it’s pretty important. I pay attention to what I eat and exercise regularly. I think my motivation is being a father to my 7- and 9-year-old sons. I want to be around a long time to see them do good things in this world. Some smart decisions now will help keep me active, hopefully for a very long time. There is also a competitive side of me that wants to always be faster and stronger, and I have to work a lot harder nowadays to stay ahead of them.
John: Last year I started training for and participating in triathlons. I’ll work out 3-5 times per week either swimming, biking, or running. That increases to 5-6 times per week when I’m training for a specific race. I also try to attend a BodyPump class at least once a week.
YMCA: How do you involve the entire family in healthy living?
John: Get outdoors! Play in the backyard, walk to the park, or even wash the car: just stepping outside forces you to become active. I’ve had the opportunity over the last several years to step out of the studio and report on family outdoor recreational opportunities. The “Find Life- Outdoors with JD” stories were motivated by my family’s trips to state parks. It’s more than just camping and it really has become a passion for me. I think families spending time outside together, in any activity, is awesome in so many different ways. I want to do anything I can, and wish I could do more, to help give opportunities or ideas for the outdoors that will help develop strong families.
YMCA: Why are you and your family involved at the YMCA?
John: I’ve seen and experienced the Y in a way that most folks have not. Before he retired, my father worked for the Houston area YMCA for over 37 years. So I’ve really been around the Y before I was even born! As a kid I’ve participated in just about every Y program out there. I’ve worked for the Y in several different positions and done some volunteering too. And now, I’m a parent putting my kids in the Y programs. So you might consider me biased, but I know the YMCA and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a safe environment for my boys to grow in mind, body, and spirit.
YMCA: As a journalist, you’re always on the go. What advice do you have for people who say they don’t have time to work out?
John: I think everyone can make time, but I think the key is really finding what works for you. Everyone is unique and needs their own system. What you do, how long you do it, when you do it: the challenge is finding what works best for you. I think it took me 2 years of trying different stuff before settling into something I could make work on a regular basis. This should be looked at as a long-term endeavor, training yourself to live active for many years to come.