Project Bold Life’s three-part series on quick self-improvement goals continues. The path to self-improvement can begin any time of the year, so why not do something to better yourself this fall? The previous installment suggested a digital detox; this installment is about exercising… like a kid.
The fountain of youth may not exist, but diet and exercise can surely make you look and feel younger than the number you call your age. Although the standard routines are helpful to stay young and fit, their effects can turn stagnant, or put you in a rut after a while. In these cases, perhaps it’s time to become a kid again!
Incorporating Play with Fitness Workouts
Playing, especially in adults, often gets a lot of bad rap. Most people see it as something exclusive to kids or activities to pass the time between projects. In a way, playing is for leisure and acts as a break from real-life grownup activities like work and rigorous fitness workouts in the gym.
Nowadays, many people consider their fitness journeys as serious matters, and to succeed, following specific workouts and diet 24/7 is essential. Due to this, the idea of incorporating play with exercise isn’t widely accepted by many.
But in truth, incorporating play in workouts and training can improve one’s capabilities and physical competence. In addition, it adds joy to life, relieves stress, helps in self-improvement projects, and reconnects a person to the world and other people. When it comes to exercise, playing makes it a more productive and pleasurable activity to do.
Recent studies show that exercise programs laced with play have better results in adults’ physical improvement than traditional workout plans. In addition, they also noted how it improved social and psychological wellness, as playing removes the competitiveness within the room. The study also discussed how fun and enjoyment influence people to do better, especially with high-intensity workouts.
“Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.” – Dr. Stuart Brown, Psychiatrist, Founder, National Institute of Play
Benefits of Play in Working Out
Despite what most skeptics believe, playing does have a significant role in fitness training and is one of the most genius ways to feel younger. Many certified fitness trainers add play to their workouts by putting purpose and intention into every movement. Unlike the children’s way of moving, skipping, or jumping just for fun, these actions turn into another set of exercises to help reach one’s fitness goals.
Playing also helps create movement pattern combinations, which helps people shift their focus instead of hyper-focusing on specific cues that can become their stressors during workouts. They become helpful distractions while allowing trainees to discover their strengths and limitations. Here are other benefits of play in working out.
Adding play to your training regimen can help alleviate stress from specific, high-intensity workouts. It can also relieve pain and relax your body during exercise.
Improve Brain Function
Physical activities like exercising hold immediate benefits to your brain. But they become more effective when your workouts have play elements in them. Due to this, your cognitive performance deteriorates slower, or even stay as healthy as possible, as you age.
Boost Creativity and Stimulate the Mind
Remember how young children learn best while playing? The same principle applies to adults, especially when working out. Playing removes the rules that often come with exercise programs, which can limit how you can move your body to see how far it can go. These activities then boost your creativity in coming up with workout variations that are more enjoyable while keeping your mind sharp enough to recognize your limitations and safety.
Four Exercises That Can Make You Feel Younger
One of the things children often get right is physical activity. Many games and activities people play during childhood can turn into some of the best exercises to stay in shape and make one feel younger. Here are four workouts from childhood that reap the most fitness benefits and help you feel younger than your age.
Skipping or jumping ropes are some of the most enjoyable and highly competitive games people play as children. You can play it as a group or by yourself and even make up different variations and rhythms while you skip or jump.
But more than the enjoyment it brings, skipping is an effective way to help your cardiovascular system healthy. The other best part? It doesn’t cost much, and it’s an activity you can do anywhere, anytime.
2. Hula Hooping
Hula hooping is a childhood game that you should continue playing until adulthood. It helps improve your coordination, core strength, and hip strength. In addition, many trainers use them as warm-ups for fitness training because they mobilize the hops and make the core active before the workout.
Trampolines are one of the trending fitness equipment this year. You can find them everywhere, especially in fitness centers and parks across the country, because of their numerous physical and mental benefits. Trampolining helps improve your cardiovascular health and drain the lymphatic system. Bouncing around is an effective method to detoxify the body and help it move properly.
4. Touch Football/OZ Tag
Although OZ Tag or Touch Football are games that make an enjoyable team sport for kids, they are still effective as a workout for adults. They work well as exercises for endurance and muscle strength training. In addition, they improve hand-eye coordination and mental health and boost confidence.
Don’t forget the book that lays out the principles of goal-achievement and attaining a Bold Life!