A few weeks ago the Health and Fitness blog wrote about pretending you are a kid at recess while exercising. In discussing the article they link to, they write:

This ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH article describes a novel approach to fitness that structures exercise classes that are more akin to elementary recess class than a normal gym routine. Activities include: swirling hula hoops, active hop scotch, bouncing on large exercise balls, relay races, leapfrog, 3 way races, and lots of laughter.

The key to the article is not so much the case study of the woman who teaches the “recess” class; nor is it that class itself or the hula hoops or anything else. The important thing is finding an activity which is fun, preferably one that involves movement. Any kind of movement is good from a fitness perspective; the more, the better (to a point). However, the mental health aspect of having time to relax and recharge, even as an adult, is very important. Everybody needs to have some play time scheduled into their day (not week; not month; day!) to maintain their health and sanity. It does not matter if they are 8 years old or 18 years old or 38 years old or 80 years old. If everybody could find something fun that involved getting some exercise, even if it doesn’t seem like exercise, then there would not be such an obesity pandemic in this country (I live in the United States). The beauty of emulating children is that they haven’t had a chance to learn how not to have fun yet.

For myself, I have a great time every day playing with my cat. Both of us are active, she purrs, I smile and laugh, we both have a good time. When I am not training for a specific race, then going out for a run is also a lot of fun for me and serves the same purpose. When I am training for a specific race, then I am usually working too hard to consider it recreational; this does not make it a bad thing, it just means that it does not fit into the spirit of what this article is trying to convey.

How do you entertain yourself when you are at play? Do you have anything that you do with regularity, or do you just wing it? If you don’t think that you do anything for play in the same or similar manner as a child would, then think back on your daily activities that you look forward to doing every day or every week. If you are looking forward to it, then perhaps it just might be something fun.