If you get a chance, view the following public service announcement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6utraKblMw .
I heard this on the radio and thought it was great. In case you don’t feel like looking, I will briefly explain: It is a public service announcement on getting kids moving where the kid asks for a dollar and the mom sees that her wallet is right next to her but decides to use the opportunity to get her daughter to run up and down the stairs looking for her wallet so she can get exercise and then in the end lets her daughter know that she tricked her into getting exercise by running around the house and hands her a dollar. I really liked the ad on the radio but I admit it was a little spooky seeing the television ad because the mom has a really creepy look on her face.
So the question to consider: is this cool or cruel? Looking through some blogs on the topic, I found a lot of people who thought it was ridiculous and dishonest to trick your kids into exercise and you should just be able to tell them to do it.
Because I use my family (and myself for that matter) as constant guinea pigs, I decided to try it out on my kids. It just so happened that I had planned on having a brunch and suddenly realized I had an hour to shower, cook and clean the house. Well that may have been OK except that my husband had to go into work. So, I looked to my children. It turns out that those same kids that I expect to do all kinds of sports and academic skills are quite adept at drying dishes, setting a table and making a fruit salad. It may not seem to add up to a lot of physical activity but researchers believe that all of those small differences from microwave popcorn (versus standing there and making concentric circles with the Jiffy Pop) have significantly contributed to the obesity crisis.
I believe every small amount of physical activity is important. More notably, what I find is that once a body is in motion it is much more likely to stay in motion. So, for example, if I tell my daughter (who is watching TV) to come and turn the light out in the bathroom (that she left on) instead of turning it out myself she very well may find a blown up balloon on the way and decide to see how many times she can hit it up in the air and I just may be nearby and start playing the “keep it up game” with her or her brother may be running by and decide to steal it from her and on and on it goes. At any given time, this can last from one minute to possibly 20 minutes or more.
While writing this article, my daughter asked if she could play on my phone and when the first place I suggested she may find it was a bust and I sent her elsewhere, she asked, “Is this one of those get your daughter active things?” In this case, it was just plain forgetfulness.