Winter vacation is going on, its cold outside and there’s fog too. Its a dangerous combination! Do you think I am cosily sitting under a blanket and sipping hot coffee? No way! I am playing badminton with my son in my little drawing room. As soon as he sees the sun peeping out, I am out with him playing cricket, till his friends come to my rescue.
Its homework time. I explain him the work and hope to catch up my newspaper reading peacefully. No sooner have I started – ‘Mamma, this one is a confusing problem, come here!’ I go and explain it to him and redeem my reading. Hardly five minutes have passed, I hear a loud sound! Either all his books and stationary have fallen down, or……….he himself must be down along with his chair. Again I run to the study and pick up everything! There is so much running, walking, bending and push-ups the whole day!
With new-borns, the work load is naturally high. The feeding, massaging, bathing, frequent diaper changing, the daily walks with either the baby in arms (weight-lifting) or in the pram (pushing). When the child learns to hold things, dropping it becomes an achievement for him/her. The more we pick up the thing ,the more they enjoy dropping again. Its a game for them. Half of the day we are picking and arranging toys. With so much bending, will the tummy ever get a chance to accumulate fat? Then their’s running to catch them for bath, running around with food in hand, running around with the woollens……. Run, run,run.
We keep thinking, may be after one year we will get some rest. Forget it! The form of excercise changes, not the quantity.
Generally kids up to the age of four years do not develop camaderie to play and share with children of their own age group. We may keep telling them, ‘share your things’, ‘play with others’, etc. Even if they oblige, it is difficult for them to give their valuable possessions to others. Two to four years age is the time when children want all attention to themselves. Therefore they enjoy playing with elders, rather than someone of their age.
So, if in the evening our child wants to go cycling, but we want him to play with other children so that we can have our routine evening walk, there is a very good option. We can both go together. Let the child cycle, while we walk. To catch up with his cycling speed we will have to walk fast or even run. Isn’t it a good exercise? It is fun for the kids too, as he races with the parent on his cycle. With such walking-cycling routine, instinctively we tend to teach them traffic rules. Don’t speed, keep to your left, slow down at speed breakers, do not stop on the middle of the road, look both sides before crossing, etc.By the time he grows and wants to cycle independently, he already knows what is safe for him.
If the child wants to play badminton or football or cricket……., fine! We cannot expect other children of 4-5 years age to have the patience of taking 99% faulty bowling or service. So why not play ourselves? Not only are we teaching them a new game this way (lots of patience required), but our own body gets exercised too. With the ball\shuttlecock going in every direction except yours, you have to run, jump, bend forward, backward, and on all possible sides. Pillow fights and wrestling are all time favourites!
No part of the body remains unexercised. Is there then any need of a separate exercise regime?