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Play = Exercise: You bet!

posted May 19, 2017, 8:53 AM by Tracy Ducker, MS, RDN

When you mention physical activity or exercise most people groan and think it’s boring, too time consuming, too hard, or too expensive. But, it doesn’t have to be. Just like anything in life if you don’t enjoy it you aren’t going to stick with it. Physical activity doesn’t have to be running 3 miles or doing endless crunches. Physical activity can actually involve playing. Just watch a bunch of kids at the playground; they are playing tag (i.e. running), climbing on jungle gym (strength training and balance), playing ball (coordination), laughing (having fun). Why not join in. If you have children play with them, not only are they getting exercise but you are too. If you don’t have kids, grab a few friends and have fun while exercising. Here are some ideas for playing while getting fit:

  • Hula Hoop- Remember how much fun it was, even if you couldn’t do it. It is a great hip and waist workout.
  • Create an obstacle course – Let you children help you, then run, crawl, and climb your way to fun.
  • Jump rope- Double Dutch anyone, show off your moves (if you don’t have any-everyone will have a great laugh).
  • Share ideas – Teach your children some of the playground games you played as a kid and find out what new games they are playing with their friends.
  • Play ball- Choose your favorite - tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, football, kickball, etc…..
  • Neighborhood scavenger hunt – Create a list of things you might find in your neighborhood then go for walk and try to find them.
  • Dancing - Turn your living room into Dance Party USA or Dancing with the Stars and have fun judging each other.
  • Marco Polo- Heading to the pool, play this classic. It is way more fun than swimming laps.

The benefits of exercise are endless (see our previous blog) so why not make it fun and spend time with family and friends.

A great quote to end on, by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw:

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”