It’s a weekday evening and dance instructor Forum Shah is laughingly challenging her son to jump through the hoola hoop she’s holding up on the large, airy terrace of their Juhu home.
Four-year-old Vivaan takes a little leap and makes it through, breaking into peals of delighted laughter. “He calls it the froggy exercise,” says Forum, grinning. “We love inventing interesting exercise games outdoors.”
A playful child, Forum says she is determined to keep Vivaan active and healthy. He recently joined a football team and loves to clamber all over the rod Shah has fixed for him in his room, ‘practicing’.
“To ensure that he is fully charged for all his mischief, Forum makes sure he gets a lot of fresh fruit, milk and vegetables every day.
“He loves soup, poha and upma,” she says. “And because he is so active, he sleeps well too and doesn’t throw a fit about wanting to watching TV or stay up late.”
Exercise helps the development of strong bones, heart, lungs, muscles and even mental strength, says fitness expert Namita Jain. “Children are in better spirits when they exercise regularly. Just 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day is a great way to stay healthy,” adds Jain.
Adds clinical psychologist Chandani Mehta: “Physical activity also improves children’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, reflexes and endurance.”