We can all learn from kids when it comes to exercise. How? They can go outside for a couple hours, run around, climb trees and just play. They don’t calculate the amount of calories burned, count reps or estimate mileage. They have fun. So why shouldn’t we? Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. Meal preparation shouldn’t be a big production. Health and fitness should be fun. Just like life.
The other day, I was about to exercise in my fitness studio when my 5-year old asked if he could join me. Absolutely, I said. Bruce and I have “worked out” before. This usually consists of him jumping on the BOSU, pushing the ab wheel around the room and punching me with his Spiderman boxing gloves. We started with some dynamic stretches (leg swings, wrist rotations, shoulder rolls, etc), and he reminded me how loose and flexible kids are. My arm rotations didn’t look like his. Plus we did some Papa calisthenics. We call my dad, Papa, and for many years he’s had a routine of exercises that he does every morning. They’re pretty old-school, but they work for him. In between my back exercises (rows, pull-ups and back extensions), I watched Bruce “exercise”. He even grabbed a 3 lb dumbbell and did one-arm dumbbell rows like me. Good form. We finished with some focus mitt boxing. Our workout lasted 30 minutes and we had a great time. My back is actually pretty sore . . . in a good way. It’s funny when we deformalize exercise and make it fun (and safe), it can be extremely effective. That’s why I joined a tennis league. We’re all out there to have fun, move around and compete.
Sometimes I wonder what kind of impact I’m making on my kids when it comes to health and fitness. Then I read this letter (see pic below) that my 2nd grader left on my bench. I read it and smiled.