Rethinking The Business Of Wellness

At The Gym Monday…”Don’t Move! Sit Still!”

…the irony was almost more than I could stand.

No childcare or kids’ fitness activities at my current gym, and naturally no kids allowed on the floor.

So what did I see Monday?

A little girl about five parked at a table near the front desk.

Fidgeting like crazy, bored to tears…while her mom and a couple of Mom’s friends worked out nearby on the ellipticals.

She’s clearly fascinated by what’s going on around her. She keeps climbing down from her chair, trying to follow along with people like me that she can see doing interesting things with stability balls and such.

…And every time she budges, Mom looks over and hollers “You sit still! Don’t move!”

Hm.

Then yesterday, the guy who cuts my hair shared his concerns about keeping his tween daughter active.

Quick history –  a few months back, he and her mom told her to find a physical activity she enjoyed. Long story short, she loves the fitness dance classes at their gym, so that’s what she committed to do.

Unfortunately…driving her to the gym’s not a priority for Mom or Dad, although they were on board when she signed up for classes. Now they’re pushing her about sitting around all the time again.

Hm.

I don’t know the answer here –  maybe you’ve got ideas. But I’m pretty sure that what works won’t look like this.

2 Responses

  1. Because I have two kids, I can somewhat see the parent side of this issue: the mom wants time to take care of her own health by working out, and the parents of the tween daughter probably have lots of other commitments to fulfill. It’s a challenge to fit in everything.

    That being said, we parents have to take the responsibility for helping our kids find opportunities for activity. They sure aren’t going to get it from school anymore, and the entertainment choices they choose tend to be primarily sedentary. If your child finds something they like, encourage it! Perhaps the mom of the 5 year old needs to look into a facility that provides activities for kids while parents work out. That’s not an easy option if there’s not one nearby, but maybe a better long-term solution.

    My kids have not been as active in sports as I would have liked, although now that they are in junior high, they are becoming more interested. I’ve not always done a great job of making their physical activities a priority. We’ve made more of a concerted effort in recent months, and we all feel good about it. We’ve had to make some adjustments to our schedules (eating dinner later than we used to, or giving up less sedentary activities), but it’s well worth it.

  2. All great points. I’m kid-free, so I have the luxury of thinking about these things on a strictly theoretical basis!

    I will say, it just killed me to see that little girl’s natural curiosity and inclination to move squashed so thoroughly.

    What seems really smart about your family’s approach is that you’ve said “OK, activity’s a priority….now, how the heck are we going to pull this off?”

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