Monday, July 8, 2019

Habit Building Part 2 - The Power of Play

One of the first things clients ask me is 'What should I do between sessions?" If there the goal is to move better, grow stronger and more confident in your everyday life, my answer is "Do something you enjoy." Hike. Swim. Yoga. Run. Golf. Whatever.


Getting in the habit of moving sounds like a simple thing. It's the goal of a million different devices, from the Fitbit tracker to the simple Pedometer. No matter their accuracy or inaccuracy or bells and whistles, it's about chiefly about getting people to notice the amount of time they spend sedentary, so that they will get in the habit of moving more throughout the day.

The goal is the same. To increase general energy output. It's probably the simpliest way to do it. And it doesn't necessarily mean launching into Death By Treadmill or anything like that.  Rebuilding confidence as an adult has much of the same features as building confidence of a child.


Pointless, all-in play. Whatever that looks like for you.

Take my Sunday for example. I had a bit of a slow start to the 1 day I don't work. I spent a good 1/2 the day tackling the laundry, and my kiddo would have been content to binge on cartoons all day, but we needed to get out. So we did. And we invited friends along.

 We ended up playing at the park from about 2:45 until about 5:30pm. I was "It" during many games of tag testing my bobbing, weaving, and sprinting skills.  I started a game of hide and seek, and I pushed swings endlessly for at least 2 kids in the rain.

No, I don't wear a fitness tracker. But I do notice that my current pace of life is upping my NEAT nicely.  The kiddo and I also have taken to playing a 15-20 minute game of tag before dinner every night that I'm not working. It's amazing how a 3 yr old can keep you on your toes.

NEAT is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenics - you know, the everyday life stuff that causes your body to use energy that isn't necessarily considered exercise. You know, like working, breathing, sleeping, and for some of us that may include parenting. But I'm a believer that your fitness is only as good as what it helps you do in everyday life. And EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY. That play may look different, but a day off, a week off, an hour off a day, should be devoted to play.

It's good for you. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

It doesn't have to look like pushing kids on a swing. It can look like whatever is fun. If it's fun, it's an easy habit to build on.
It doesn't have to be elaborate. It doesn't have to include expensive gear. It doesn't even have to be 1 thing. Just make it something.

Make time.

Start small.

Discover your Play.

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