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Play and be happy ... 7 of our favourites


Covert Exercise and Mood Boost

17 March 2017

Spring is springing to life! There’s no better time to get outside and shake off those winter blues.

The best way to take full advantage of the sunshine and get in shape without feeling you have to drag yourself to the gym, is to incorporate play into your routine. Some things just can't be done without producing a sense of joy. They will inevitably bring a smile to your face and hide the fact that they are actually...shhh…*whispers* exercise.

Remember back to when you were a kid. Picture it in your mind. Close your eyes and think back to your favorite schoolyard games. Can you see it? Focus on the feeling you had back then. See yourself smiling and laughing, running and jumping. Feel right now that sense of playfulness and animation you had as a kid. You can keep that memory fresh in your mind, not only by this mental activity but by playing now.

You can play in the park or on the street where you live. Don’t be worried that people might see you. The bonus is that your delight and fun are contagious and will make others smile too! The joy expands, and you will spread it wherever you go!

The following is a list of 7 ways to play. Add and use your own playful games you loved most as a kid.

1. Skip! Don’t try to force yourself to jog/run when you can skip down the street or in the park. It’s great cardio, and there’s no way you can do it without a smile. Have you forgotten how to skip? Here’s a great reminder on how:

2. Jump rope! Get a rope and skip it. See how many jumps in a row you can get without missing. Get a long rope and your friend(s) or your kid(s) to take turns jumping and reciting the rhymes you knew as a child. Here’s some proof on how fun jump ropes can really be:

3. Hopscotch! Jump in patterns and over lines. You don’t have to draw it out in chalk (but you can!) to get the full effect. Imagine you can’t step on a crack and do your best to hop and skip. Try this experiment:

4. Tag! Bring your friend(s) or your kid(s) and play tag in the park. Get competitive.

5. Hula hoop! See how long you can keep it going. Go around different parts of your body. Make a dance with it like she does:

6. Parkour! Jump on benches and over railings. Get creative. Explore your environment. Can you pull yourself up on a bar? Give it a try. Here’s a quick intro to parkour:

7. Dance! Bring some music and rock out to your favorite songs. Create your own moves or practice the ones you know. YouTube is crawling with dance videos. Try some break dancing moves. Don’t be shy. Try the Roger Rabbit with this reminder on how:

I hope these tips help add some zest to your routine and joy to your life. Get outside and enjoy spring to the fullest!

See you in the park!

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