Why You Should Exercise With Your Children?
A lot of women who were fit till they got married see their fitness and shape going downhill as their family responsibilities grew. When I look at them balancing their household with the accounts, shopping and staff, children, family, perhaps a career, and their husbands, I cannot but marvel at their multi-tasking skills. I also believe it is this great ability for us as women to multi-task that can also be put to excellent use for both mothers and their children if they exercise together. Not only can this time be very special to bond with the children, it also sets an excellent example for them, so why not inculcate an interest in exercising and healthy living by exercising in front of them and with them?
This is one of the reasons why I wrote “Work It Out Without a Workout” few years ago, keeping in mind all those people who don’t have time to spare and go to the gym. The book covers many ways of how one can get fitter by using time in the car, in the office, at a party or as my absolute favorite how to exercise with your children. By exercising with your children in a playful manner will not only instill a very good sense of health and well being in your children but also ensure you get a decent workout in the bargain.
If your child is not very old then you can start by going on long walks with your child in his or her pram in parks, the zoo, or even a museum. As they get a bit older, crawling games can not only be great fun for your children but also gives you a very challenging full body workout. As they get older, animal impersonations, hopping like a kangaroo or a rabbit, jumping like a frog, crawling like a lizard, walking around like a tiger, goofing around like a monkey are all wonderfully entertaining movements for your little ones, but for you as an adult they can be quite challenging.
These are just some of the ideas, you can pretty much take pick out any animal that comes to your mind and try to copy the way they move or stretch. On the other hand, you can take anything from nature and the world around us and try to mimic it, or build a story around it.
For example, start a story talking about the beautiful meadow with a lake, and a big huge tree standing right next to it. The exercising part can be how that tree became so tall; it was first a little seed, so curl up and become as tiny as a seed, and then start moving a bit as if you are sprouting as the seeds sprouts. That little sprout becomes a little plant make the body move as it is becoming longer, bigger, and growing upward all the way to being a big large tree whose branches are spreading out all over. I wanted to show by using this example how limitless the possibilities are, and you can create your own story to keep your children’s’ minds engaged, and at the same time to exercise their physical bodies.
One of my personal favorites is when I am pretending to be a bridge over the river (I simply to go into ‘inverted “V”‘ or ‘downward dog’ position), and my daughter is a little boat who needs to get under the bridge before it closes down. So I keep on going from Downward Dog to Cobra and I make a transition to few other push up positions, while my daughter keeps circling around me and looking for chances for crawling under. It’s a great past time as well as great exercise for both of us. See, how easy and fun this can be, so all of you multitasking queens, here is one more thing to add to your repertoire which benefits you and your loved ones.
(Blog author Vesna Jacob is a fitness expert in Delhi)
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