Go Play Outside
Part 1 of 3
The weather’s nice, I’m feeling great. I’ve got my sunshine and my groove on, so welcome to Part One of a three-part series on why kids don’t need gyms, and how we can use their mentality towards movement and play to help us get our workouts in!
I don’t know about you, but in my family and groups of friends, there’s inevitably a child’s birthday. And at said birthday, there is always the cake, the ice cream, the pizza. The kids devour it greedily and run around like sugar-fueled Roombas. Meanwhile, the adults tend to lean against the counter, poking guiltily at our cake and ice cream we “shouldn’t” be having, wondering why our metabolism had to fade with age.
Mitigate your metabolic slowdown
It may excite you to learn that metabolism’s gradual slowdown is not as unavoidable as we think. Research shows that metabolism does slow after 30 — but only by a rate of about 1 percent per year, an amount that can be mitigated. What contributes more extensively to our “metabolic slowdown” is arguably our change in activity level.
Some of us make time for the 30 minutes a day of recommended exercise and still don’t see the kind of results we like, while every 10 year old we know lives on cake and Doritos with impunity. How is that fair?
I suggest an experiment: Next time you are watching a kid, yours or someone else’s, try to limit them to just 30 minutes of outside time on a nice day and watch them throw a fit.
Well, you protest, they get to have fun out there! They get to run around playing tag, climbing trees, pretending to be superheroes, jumping on trampolines and bouncing balls! I have to go slog my 30 minutes out on a treadmill!
So here’s my health tip of the week, and it’s more of a question than a tip, so forgive me for getting Zen on my readers, here:
Do you really?
Must you get your 30 minutes of exercise on a treadmill, at the gym or just taking yourself for a boring run? Take some time, now, while the weather’s nice and the sun’s out, and forget all that. Forget about heart rate, calories burned, interval training and leg/arm/ab day, and take yourself out to play. Go outside in some comfy shoes and clothes, and I dare you to daydream. Chase a squirrel. Climb a tree. Skip every other step on the sidewalk and deduct a point from yourself every time you mess up. Pretend you’re running from zombies (more on that in Part Three).
Have fun with your workouts for a week
Really, try it. For just one week, have fun with your workouts. Comment here to let me know what you’re thinking of trying, or what worked for you!
Next week, we’ll go over some local classes to help you get in the right place mentally, if you’ve forgotten how to have fun with your workouts, and join us for Part Three, where we will talk about some apps to help you turn your workout into a video game, starring you!
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.