OK, so it’s not a ‘fitness craze‘ yet, but it will be. I have an idea that will revolutionise organised exercise forever. It’s going to spread all around the world, y’all. Just take a form of exercise that parents have been doing for thousands of years (well maybe some cave babies got lost – they hadn’t invented helicopter parenting back then probably) and turn it into a fantastic way to work out.
Let me pitch it to you.
All you need is a reasonable amount of space (enough that you are kept on your toes and able to ‘chase’ but not enough that you feel free and relaxed). Place a number of pieces of random furniture, toys too advanced for your child’s age group (think stuff that can be choked on or has small parts), a bunch of toddlers, some adults whose opinions on toddlers you are not yet familiar with etc in this space. Place glasses, car keys, mobile phones and remote controls on tables…just a little distance from the edge. Leave all doors to the venue open and make sure there is a working car park just a short distance away (or perhaps a body of water).
AND CHASE! It’s great cardio.
Or alternatively, you can do reps of toddler wrangling. Pick up your toddler and try to hold them for as long as possible. It’s great strength, weights AND resistance training (trust me – they’re resisting). The overall aim is to keep your toddler out of danger for a few hours. It’s not a sprint paced activity, but a marathon of sorts. For an extra challenge, try to maintain an adult conversation (with one of the people whose opinions of toddlers is not immediately clear) without appearing to be rude or discombobulated. You can also try to eat something, feed your toddler something or sip a warm drink at the same time, if you reach expert level.
You can perform this exercise with steely, quiet determination (and fear of drawing too much attention to yourself) or there are some chants you can repeat to really release your primal…something:
STOP! DON’T TOUCH! THAT’S NOT YOURS! COME HERE! I SAID LET GO! STOP WRIGGLING! STAY STILL! PUT THAT BACK. BE GENTLE! CAREFUL! WATCH OUT FOR THAT TABLE CORNER! YOU CAN SHARE!
These chants will not mean anything to your toddler, but will test and strengthen your character.
This is an exercise that can be done in the comfort of a child free friend’s home, any event at a non child friendly venue, or could be adapted to suit any exercise space – I’m picturing dedicated rooms in gyms and sports clubs for those who want that extra edge on top of their every day toddler chasing experience. You can even do this activity on holidays with no equipment required!! All you will need is your toddler and the unfamiliar environment around you! I recommend you go camping.
This form of exercise is wonderfully inclusive. You can bring your own children (BYOC)! No need to pay for babysitters or worry about availability of creche services! If you do not have children of your own, you will experience a wonderful shock to the system which will help to vary your exercise routine!
I’ve been trialling this form of exercise a lot lately, and it is fantastic for your upper body strength (your biceps will feel it for days)! Your calf muscles will feel stretched and you’ll do more incidental squats than you realise! It’s a great exercise for everyone who doesn’t have time to exercise! It’s incidental, so you won’t notice you’re exercising until you collapse at the end of the day, begging for wine.
If you manage to not succumb to comfort eating afterwards (PUT DOWN THAT GINORMOUS WHEEL OF CHEESE – DON’T THINK I CAN’T SEE YOU), you’ll notice weight loss in no time. I mean, I haven’t managed that part yet…but I hold out hope…
People are gonna LOVE this!!!
Now, if you’ll excuse me…HE’S HEADED FOR THE WATER!!!!!!!!!