Exercise this, Dad…

I’ve always been something of a jock and I’ve tried to instill a love of exercise in my daughters. The two oldest (21 and 18) were/are wonderfully athletic, but had absolutely no interest in sports. When they were tiny babies I’d put them in the Baby Bjorn and hop on the Nordic Track for an hour. Later, I took them running in the jog stroller. Signed them up for summer sports camps, regular team sports, individual sports (like karate and rock climbing) and on and on. But nothing stuck.

My youngest, almost 9, has the makings of a jock. But she hates to sweat. All that changed, though, when I set up the xbox kinect that I won at Dad2.0 a few weeks ago. I had a meeting the other day and told Z she could use the xbox. I heard her bouncing for the entire time I was in the meeting. When I finally finished up and went up stairs to start dinner, she was drenched in sweat–and smiling. I had to smile too.

Made me completely revise my thinking about what my goals are, sports wise. Doesn’t really matter whether she’s doing a real “sport.” If the goal is to get her off her duff and to work up a good sweat, who cares what she’s doing? Lesson learned.

Fitness equipment for kids? Naaa

We often talk about how important it is for kids to get enough exercise–60  minutes every day–but what they really need is play. What’s the difference? According to Dr Tony Okely, associate professor at the University of Wollongong in Australia, “Exercise is defined as physical activity that is structured, planned, and repetitive with an aim of increasing one or more components of health-related fitness.”  The problem is that a lot of parents get their kids all sorts of mini exercise equipment–stuff like treadmills and weight benches. But what they really need is to be sent packing to ride their bikes with their buddies around the neighborhood, or to just go to a park and run around like loons.

Reminds me of what a dog trainer once told me: “A tired dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is an obedient dog. Same goes (well, almost) with kids. A tired and sweaty kid is a healthy kid. What they need to be doing is having fun. gym memberships are over the top.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/play-not-exercise-for-fit-kids-20120307-1uk01.html#ixzz1ogeahcT9

Does your child really need fitness equipment–treadmills,