Kids didn't use to have to exercise. They stayed fit enough running around being kids. They didn't have to diet. They could burn off anything just being themselves. I will admit that I did exercise as a child. I thought my mom's Jane Fonda tapes were so much fun, I would do them with her. Trouble is, kids don't run around outside much anymore. They don't jump or climb as much. They sit in front of the TV, in front of the computer, in front of gaming consoles. But I don't blame them. I don't even blame the media. I blame us. We tell our children, "Go outside and play," but when is the last time we went outside to play? With this in mind, I would like you to examine the following exchange:
Shawn: Aimee, is there a way I can get in shape without moving?
Me: No, movement is required for exercise.
Shawn: Oh. Well, is there a way I can exercise without using my legs or running?
Me: You could try sit-ups.
Shawn: OK! How do I do sit-ups?
Me: Lay down on your back. (Shawn lays down on his back.) Now sit up. (Shawn puts his hands on the ground beside him and pushes himself back to a seated position.)
Me: (realizing my mistake) No! You have to sit up without using your hands. Put your hands behind your head or cross them across your chest.
Shawn: (puts his hands behind his head and does a proper sit-up, actually more of a crunch as his head and shoulders barely rise off the floor) Oohhh! (flops back to the floor.)
Me: (realizing this is probably as good as it is going to get for now) OK, now do it again.
Shawn: (repeating crunch and flop) Oohhh!
Shawn: (repeating crunch and flop) Oohhh! This is torture!!
I didn't have a useful response and Shawn did not try anymore sit-ups.