Get Outside and Play! Posted June 30, 2014 by Judy Moon Posted by Gwyn MacDonald This past weekend I spent time with my nephew. He recently turned 13 and he is super fun to hang around with. We have similar senses of humor and ways of being in the world and I always feel refreshed after a visit with him. A few years ago he told me that both my husband and I are kind of like big kids. “Do you mean immature?” I asked. “NO!” he said, “because you both love to play, silly!” Heeheehee. As I mentioned in my last post I have started a more focused exercise routine to get myself back in shape. Since one of the days of my weekend visit was a workout day I decided to recruit my nephew in the activities as well. He was totally into it! And… he made it way more engaging since we spent a good portion of the routine giggling and teasing each other between gasps for breath and sips of water. After the real workout we made a “fake workout” video that was, I must say, completely ridiculous and hilarious! My Mom, who was sitting nearby in the yard (another bonus to the workout…OUTSIDE!), was cracking up – always a good sign of quality entertainment. While I am serious about exercising, making it more playful made it seem more do-able and not just another chore on my list. We forget how important play is in our everyday lives. Focusing on the things we have to get done is important but it can drain our reserves when we don’t get a break from the “work first” mentality. Not only is it fun to play, it stimulates portions of our brain that have to do with creativity, structure, organization, imagination and concentration. Adding in a bit of playfulness may even boost your productivity. Throw in laughter and WOW! There’s a recipe for great health! So… get out there and play! With the kids, the dog, your spouse, friends, whoever! Add a game night in every once in a while. Skip down the street for a block or two, swing around each street sign you come upon (or tree), go to the park and SWING! Doesn’t have to be for hours, just a few moments can shift your energy and mood. Ready…set…GO!!!!!