Prioritising fitness above everything else is, definitely a good decision for any individual. But what seems like a spurt of this fitness frenzy is sending kids as young as 4-6 weeks of age for gymming.
Obviously, these gyms aren’t about treadmills but are more about running, relays, dancing and activities to engage children in being fit. On Sunday afternoon, the little Nawab of Pataudi, Taimur was seen outside a popular ‘children’s fitness centre’ in Bandra. However, experts aren’t too happy with this trend.
“Today, due to shortage of playgrounds, time and interaction, everything needs to be slated individually in the schedule. What is really requires of these children in 2 to 2.5 hours of playtime in the ground. I don’t see any research substantiating these activities in these centres,” said Dr Samir Dalwai, past president of Indian Academy of Paediatrics- Mumbai Chapter, consulting Developmental Paediatrician and Founder of New Horizons Child Development Centre.
Most of these gyms claim to be helpful in fighting childhood obesity, a serous menace that India is currently fighting. Research suggests that India has the second highest number of obese children in the world.
“At the onset, it is a great initiative,” said Dr Sanjay Borude, senior bariatric surgeon at Breach Candy Hospital. “But it is way too early for any child because the child’s ossification of bones is also not fully done. So, they may get joint fractures. Diet as well as exercises for children must be maintained properly. This is the age where children are growing, that needs to be kept in mind.”