(There are some here if you want one.)
Anyone happen to catch this Boston Globe article on fitness equipment for children?
Yep, that's right, there's a company that now makes treadmills and elliptical trainers for children as young as three.
What do you think?
When I read the article, I had mixed feelings.
My First Reaction: Aaaaahhhhkkkk!
Truly, I saw the headline and thought: What a f*cked up world we live in. What happened to the notion of "play?" Exercise is not supposed to miserable until you're an adult, damn it!
(Warning: Grumpy Old Fogey Alert)
I know kids are getting fat. And I know they need more activity. But not this way! What happened to playgrounds and front lawns and freeze tag and kickball and stupid dangerous made-up games involving jumping off of things and tackling each other?
I'd never trade the bruises, gashes, scrapes and stitches I got as a kid for hours spent in front of a tv, computer, or video game console, broken up by "structured" exercise sessions on a piece of equipment.
I'm not a parent, so I have no idea of how the transformation happened by which kids have been declared too fragile to "go out and play" like we did. I know you all think the world is much more dangerous now. Maybe it is. But I think it's more our thinking that's changed.
Here's the thing: Forty years ago, we still had traffic, pedophiles, rusty nails, drugs, bullies, broken glass, rattlesnakes, and even serial killers. We just assumed all the bad things happened to other people, and usually it did. Mom said "go out and play" and we did. We played kickball in the street until someone yelled "Car!!!!" We climbed trees and water towers and roofs where we didn't belong. We ran around not because we had to, but because we wanted to.
I know not every neighborhood is safe enough for kids to go out and play in. Yet doesn't it almost seem like the safer the neighborhood, the less likely you are to see kids playing in it? 'Cause they're all inside, or they've been rounded up and shipped off for officially sanctioned activities.
We probably had a lot more accidents and injuries forty years ago. Because, hey, every now and then it was your turn to jump off the top of a ladder with a grocery bag for a parachute.
But today the young 'uns are all completely safe and supervised. And a good percentage of them are fat and are going to die early of heart disease and diabetes or liver problems. Unless they get on a ridiculous little kiddie treadmill or hire a personal trainer or wear a pedometer? Yikes.
Sigh. The world's goin' to hell in a handbasket.
(This Concludes the Old Fogey Rant; you may now safely resume your regular blog reading activities).
My Second Reaction: Well, OK, Maybe in Some Cases...
On further reflection, and after a more careful reading of the article, I realized that there might be some times when having a kiddie treadmill or elliptical would make some sense.
If you're a busy mom, and the kids are watching everything you do and wanting to join you in your workout? Well, that might be a cool! And having their own little junior version might help keep them off your equipment, which could be an expensive/dangerous proposition.
After all, we buy kids junior versions of cars and vacuum cleaners and ovens and garden tools. As I recall, imitating adults can feel like "play" when you're a kid, even though the actual activities might be "work" for the adults themselves.
So if you're buying a kiddie treadmill or elliptical as a "toy" that your kid will enjoy, and you can "play" together, that seems pretty reasonable.
(But how "fun" is a treadmill gonna be for a kid after the first few minutes? Just wondering.)
So enough of the Crab and her grumpy-ass opinions. What do you all think?