Fitness should be child’s play

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Think back to when you were a little kid. You ran, you jumped, you played chase, you played ball, you rode a bicycle, you explored. And it was all very spontaneous, and fun. You didn’t have to be told to do these things, they just came natural to you. These activities are the very essence of childhood.

You didn’t know it at the time, but you were exercising, you were keeping fit. But it didn’t feel like exercise, if to you, “exercise” means drudgery and boredom.

That is probably one of the biggest reasons many adults have trouble staying in shape, compared to children. Exercise isn’t “play time” to them. Exercise is boring to them. It feels like punishment.

The solution I believe is to turn your exercise time into playtime. Do activities that are fun to you. Do activities that are also challenging. Children who are just learning to walk or run find the activity challenging, but it is also fun to them. Be creative.

This is one of the things I love about juggling. It is both fun and challenging, to the point that it brings out my “inner child”. I am engaging in an activity that uses novel body movement, so it is also a learning process. It’s like learning to walk again.

Children are very spontaneous and uninhibited. Adults a lot less so. Ensuring a high level of fitness is more a matter of unlearning those things that prevent making fitness a lifestyle, rather than a regimented activity. Unlearning inhibitions, unlearning bad habits that may be holding us back is one of the tickets to staying fit.

In the name of fitness, reestablish playtime. Don’t care what anyone thinks, exercise whenever you can, juggle whenever you can or play whenever you can.

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3 responses to “Fitness should be child’s play

  1. Great points! What used to be such a pleasure. Now, seems to be a chore. Very encouraging!

  2. I can’t wait for the winter to start dying off so I can get back on my bike! I’m not a serious biker (though I have finally bought a helmet after my mother insisted for my safety), but I still have fun with. There is such peace to be by yourself for sixteen miles. I take my time and do some siteseeing along the way. It’s not a race for me, just about being out there enjoying myself.

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