Saturday, 31 March 2012

Inky pinky ponky..

Wouldn't it be fun to exercise like you did when you were a child? I have been watching how effortlessly my children round around, jump, climb, kick balls and so on and have so much fun while they do it. They aren't exercising, they are playing.

I am wondering why, as adults, we lose this ability to just have fun and do physical activity simply for the pleasure of the activity we are doing. I know actually a lot of people do do just that. If you play a sport, or you dance or actually...cough...splutter....ENJOY running....then you are lucky, because I am pretty sure there are a lot of adults who see exercise as a chore or a method of torture.

It's got me thinking. What if you could do a class where you had to leave your inhibitions at the door and release your inner child? Perhaps the class might get you to run around playing tag or bullrush. Perhaps you would play hopscotch. Maybe you would jump elastics (anyone else remember doing that? -jumping over elastic tied around ankles, while chanting a rhyme?) or skip rope, not by yourself like a boxer, in order to exercise, but while two others turned it, in order to have fun.

What if the next time you went to the class it was 'sports day' and you had to do sack races, obstacle courses and egg and spoons. And the next time was 'school disco' and you just were able to dance your heart out (or if you were a boy run around the room and slide on the floor). The next time you might play rounders or t-ball. Oh it would be so much fun and so liberating.

When my boys were little and I took them to those indoor playcentres, I always secretly enjoyed going in with them with the excuse that they were too small to go round themselves. I would always come out feeling puffed out and like I had used every muscle in my body. Now I can't quite get away with that, nor keep up with them. So I end up going down the slide alone, looking like a saddo grown up having a play by themselves.

When we bought our boys a trampoline for the garden I was gutted to discover that I was over the weight limit for it... but now...guess what? I am light enough to bounce away to my heart's content. And quite often if the neighbours were to look out of their windows they would see me jumping away while my boys are at school/preschool.

Perhaps it is that I don't want to grow up or get old. I don't know, but what I do know running around and playing with my boys is helping my heart in more ways than one.

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