The question above, "Have you played lately?", is a question I often ask my Self. I have been pondering the idea of leading an active life, not a life that includes scheduled exercise. Don't get me wrong, run your marathons and triathlons, train for your tennis matches and cross fit competitions. Whatever inspires you, do that. What I'm saying is for the general population of people who aren't "athletes", what's a good way to incorporate movement into daily life, without having to drive to the gym or sign up for a fitness class. My answer is "Play".
When we were kids, we didn't "exercise" in the sense that we had to be at a certain place at a certain time to jump and run and bike and lift weights in order to stay healthy and fit. We played.
We ran or rode our bikes to our friends house. We played games like hide and go seek, as well as pick up basketball or baseball games in the front yard. We played with the dog. We would climb the jungle gym and cross the monkey bars. My point is, we were simply being active, not consciously exercising.
How, as adults, can we implement this idea? Gardening, walking, hiking, kayaking, playing with the dog or kids, yoga (sometimes this requires scheduling, but can be done at home in your time, too). How about games? I'm sure you can think of tons of fun things beyond my list.
Here is an interesting Ted Talk I watched recently about "Blue Zones"....."To find the path to a long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones", communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting ages. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100".
Check it out.
Moving forward from here, let's all be more aware of how active we are or are not. Instead of coming home to the couch and TV, perhaps go for a walk or take some time to stretch out after sitting at your desk all day. Go out and work a bit in the garden.
Whatever the case, making small changes in your daily life can stand to show big improvements in the over-all health of your body, mind, and spirit. Create a new life for your Self. It's time. If you have any thoughts or ideas to add, please leave them below. I'd love to hear them.