Running. Jumping. Digging. Walking. Skipping. Playing.
Over the weekend, we had gorgeous “tropical” weather of almost 50 degrees. That called for playing at the beach! As I watched my kids playing and having fun as we walked along, I began to think when does play become exercise?
As a kid it’s second nature to play. It’s what you do. You are in a constant state of motion. You don’t consider it exercise. But at a certain point in the life cycle, play takes on a different term. Movement becomes exercise. And in the process, a lot of people get turned off by it and stop doing it. Play becomes a dirty four letter word.
If you asked a child to “go play” what would they do?
Run. Jump. Toss. Kick. Skip. Hop. Use their imagination in countless ways.
If you asked an adult to “go play” what do you think they’d do?
Find a video game. Get on their phone. Surf the internet. Maybe play a sport like golf or basketball.
At what age does play take on a new meaning? When we get to school? When we become a teenager? Adulthood?
To some, exercise becomes a tedious chore that we “have” to do to stay in shape, lose weight, stay healthy. If you were from another country that had never heard of or seen a gym, what would you think when you saw people mindlessly stepping on the stepmill, walking or running nowhere on the treadmill? Would you think they are playing or having fun? Probably not.
I like to exercise. I consider it play. Sure when I am struggling to make my pace for a speed session or lifting a heavy weight trying to get one more rep, I may look like I’m in agony. But I think it’s fun. That’s what matters. I think the most important thing to teach kids is to look at play and therefore, exercise, as fun. The same is for adults who avoid exercise.
Find what is fun to you.
Find what you love.
That’s what will make it a life long habit.
Is exercise PLAY for you?
When do you think play becomes exercise?