Dr. Exercise

By Franice & Thacia Stirling ©2008

Tina is watching TV.

[Knocking sound]

TINA: Who is it?

PACO: It's me, Paco.  

TINA: Paco who?

PACO: Paco, your brother. 

TINA: Come in.  Why were you outside knocking?  This is your house, too. Do you want to watch TV with me?  It's a really funny show.

PACO: I was hoping you would like to come outside and play kickball.  I think we could get a bunch of the kids from the neighborhood to play.  

TINA: Not today.  I really want to see this show.


* * * *

Tina is watching TV.

[Knocking sound]

TINA: Who is it?

PACO: It's me, Paco.  

TINA: Paco who?

PACO: Paco, your brother, who wants to play.

TINA: Come sit down.  In thirty minutes a game show is coming on.  You can learn a lot. It is one of my favorite shows.  

PACO: Mama  asked me to get some things at the market, and I was hoping you would like to come with me.  

TINA: Not today. It is too hot. I want to stay inside. Maybe tomorrow.


* * * *

Tina is watching TV.

[Knocking sound]

TINA: Who is it?

PACO: It's me, Paco.  Remember. Your brother who you used to play with. Some friends and I are going to the park to play basketball.  Can you come today?  If you come, we can have three on each team.  It will be a lot of fun.

TINA: Oh Paco, I would rather stay home. You go play with your friends.   I feel a little tired.  I am sorry.

PACO:  I wish you would play with me.  You aren't much fun lately.  

* * * * 

Tina is watching TV.

MAMA: Tina.  Will you walk to the market and buy some rice for supper?  I just realized we are out of rice and I was planning to have it with the beans.

TINA: I'm sorry, Mama.  I don't have time.  It takes 15 minutes to walk to the market and by the time I get the rice and get back, I will miss the next TV program.  Couldn't we have something else for supper?  Or, maybe we can phone Papa at work and he can bring home the rice.

MAMA: I guess I will go myself.  You make sure the beans don't boil over.

* * * *

MAMA: Tina.  Will you go weed Grandma's vegetable garden for her.  She isn't feeling well and the weeds are really taking over her garden.

TINA: Oh, Mama.  Can't Paco do it?  I get so sore bending and pulling weeds.

MAMA: Paco did it last time, Tina.  It is your turn to weed.  Maybe you could ask Paco  to help you?

TINA: I think Paco is mad at me.

MAMA: Why?

TINA: I guess because we don't like to do the same things.  He always wants to do something active.  I like sitting around the house.

MAMA: I know you like sitting around the house, but it is not good for you.  You need to be more active.

TINA: I don't see why.  

MAMA: Come with me, young lady. 

TINA: Why?  Where are we going?  

MAMA: We are going to see a doctor.

TINA: But I'm not sick. . . . 

Puppets move across the stage.

TINA: Do we have to walk?  Can't we take the bus?

MAMA: Tina!  There is no need to take a bus.  The doctor's office is an easy walk from here.

TINA: But I don't like to walk.  I'd rather ride.  Besides, I am not sick.

MAMA: If you  continue the way you are living, you will be sick.  Here we are.  Now that didn't take long, did it?

DR. EXERCISE: Hello, Mrs. Lopez and Tina.  Please come in.  It is good to see you.  What brings you here today?

MAMA:  It is Tina, Dr. Exercise.  She doesn't want to do anything active.  She doesn't play outside with her brother or her friends, she won't work in the garden, she doesn't like to walk.  She just sits around all day.

DR. EXERCISE:  Tina, what do you like to do for fun?

TINA: Watch TV.  That's about it.

DR. EXERCISE:  Are there any sports you like?

TINA:  Not really.  I just like watching TV.

DR. EXERCISE:  Tina, exercise is very important for the body.  

TINA:  But I don't exercise and I'm not sick.  Exercise is just for adults who need to lose weight.

DR. EXERCISE: No, Tina.  Children need exercise, too. Everyone is helped by exercise.

TINA:  But I don't want big muscles.  Why should I exercise?

DR. EXERCISE:  Exercise is good for your muscles.  That is true. One of the most important muscles in your body is your heart.  The heart needs exercise to be strong. With a strong heart you will live a longer life.

TINA:  Oh.  I guess I do want a strong heart.

DR. EXERCISE:  Exercise helps your blood circulation.  The blood carries oxygen and nutrition to all parts of your body.  When you sit a lot your blood doesn't flow as well.  Good circulation can improve your health.

TINA:  I didn't know that.   But I start breathing hard when I exercise.

DR. EXERCISE:  With exercise, your lungs will work better and you won't feel like you run out of air as quickly.  The more you exercise the easier it will become. 

TINA:  But I get tired when I exercise.

DR. EXERCISE:     The exercise will make you tired, but that is a good thing.  It will help you fall asleep more easily and you will have a better night's rest.  In the morning you will feel more refreshed when you wake up.  So you will actually feel like you have more energy for the new day.

TINA:  After watching a lot of TV, I sometimes can't fall asleep or I have nightmares; but, I'm afraid exercise will make me hungry, so I will eat more food and get overweight.

DR. EXERCISE:  Actually, exercise helps regulate the appetite. 

TINA:  What does that mean?

DR. EXERCISE:  For people who are used to sitting around a lot, exercise helps their bodies desire the right amount of food.

MAMA: How much should she exercise?  

DR. EXERCISE:   I am going to write a prescription for 30 minutes of exercise every day.

TINA: Every day!  I can't do that!

DR. EXERCISE:  There are so many different ways you can exercise.  I think you can find something to do every day.  Maybe you can take a walk.  Another day you could play an active game with friends.  On some days you can do some active work that needs to be done, like gardening or sweeping.  Find some exercise that you enjoy and you will look forward to doing it. Do you have someone who might be willing to exercise with you?  It is always more fun with a friend.

TINA:  Yes.  I think I know just the person.  

MAMA:  Thank you Dr. Exercise.  I think I will follow your advice, too.

* * * *

[knocking sound]

TINA:  Hi, Paco. We are home.  I've decided I need to be more active.  Dr. Exercise suggested a friend might make it more fun.  I guess brothers can be friends, too.  Would you like to come help me weed grandma's garden?

PACO:  Of course.  When were are done, we can go for a swim and cool off.

TINA: That sounds like fun.  Let's go.