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4-year-old’s are a lot of hard work. Ask any mom of a 4-year-old and she will tell you how exhausted she feels by the end of the day. It’s not just mental exhaustion but also physical tiredness that takes over a preschooler’s mom. The muscles ache in weird places and more often than not, there are “unaccounted for” bumps and bruises from trying to keep up with a 4-year-old’s ceaseless energy. No wonder, so many pain medication ads feature moms as the de-facto sufferers (Remember Moov and Zandu ads?).

So yeah, in case you haven’t guessed it yet, having a 4-year-old is very similar to having a gym membership. Don’t believe me? Well here are 10 reasons you should:

1. The treadmill effect aka “Catch me if you can!”

From the moment a 4-year-old gets up in the morning till bedtime at night, it’s a series of “catch me if you can!” sprints and jogs. Meal times, dress up, bath time, homework and so on and so forth – in essence, every single activity is preceded by a 2-3 minute chase after the kid. So forget the treadmill (which, by the way, is happily settled in the capacity of a towel rack) and run after your kid. You can very easily squeeze in 30 minutes of run time in your daily schedule, even if it’s in tiny short bursts of 2-3 minutes each.

2. The Zumba effect aka “Dance whatever the hell way you want!”

4-year-olds never walk from point A to point B in a straight line; they go zigzag, they hippity-hop, they jump, they skip, they make loops and they do a jig before getting anywhere near point B. And they love music.

But do you know the best part of all (or worst, depending on your point of view)? They also love an engaged audience and an ardent fan or two. And they will insist that you follow their every single move step-by-step.

So, in the afternoons post school hours and after lunch when they refuse to take a nap, what else can you do? You put on the radio and let your 4-year-old lead you to an impromptu Zumba session (or whatever the hell you want to call this mad dance routine!).

3. Weight training aka “My legs are hurting me!”

This can happen anywhere and anytime but it will most certainly happen on the walk back home when you are carrying groceries or a heavy school bag or both. Suddenly, the 4-year-old will temporarily lose his ability to walk and just plonk himself in the middle of the road declaring “My legs are hurting me! I cannot walk anymore.” After you are done begging or trying to drag your 4-year-old off the concrete, you are left with no other option but to transfer all your groceries and the school bag to one arm and counter balance it by carrying your child in the other arm.

By the time you reach your front door, your biceps, your triceps and every other “cep” muscle in your arms would have gotten a thorough workout without you ever lifting a single dumbbell.

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