Playing Together Is Exercise

Some people love exercising. They enjoy the activity, the way it makes them feel and the results they see. We’re thrilled that those people enjoy it. Exercising is a necessary part of a healthy routine. But many of us don’t enjoy exercise; it’s a difficult task that takes up time and bores some people. So, what can make it more enjoyable? Making it about playing and togetherness.

Young or old, we all love games, playing and laughing. Many communities around the U.S. and the world have installed adult playgrounds. These playgrounds are more like outdoor gyms with low impact equipment. As well as having things like rowing machines and man-powered elliptical trainers, they have swings with sturdy seats, wide slides and ergonomic seesaws! When you’re playing, it doesn’t feel like a workout. The playgrounds have become community hubs for many people, and some of the playgrounds also have more traditional swings and monkey bars so the whole family can enjoy the area!

Parents and grandparents can play with kids while getting fit. And, while many of us worry about people’s judgment at the gym, when you’re playing, strangers don’t evaluate you by how in shape you are. That means you can relax, enjoy yourself and have fun with friends, family or new people you meet in your community!

The biggest drawback to these playgrounds is that you should be careful when using any workout equipment. Without a trainer there to explain a machine you haven’t used before, you are more likely to get injured. However, you can strike up a conversation with the people around you, and they may well be able to show you how to use it! The parks are usually outfitted with picnic tables and nice trails so you can walk, spend time with your family and enjoy the kids in your life.

There are significant benefits to exercising with your children or grandchildren. Frequently, when we are by ourselves, it’s hard to find motivations to work out. That’s why exercise classes are so beneficial for many people. However, people in your class aren’t usually people who hold you accountable for “getting your steps in.” When you’re with kids or grandkids, playing doesn’t seem like exercise. If you are a fan of classes, many community centers and YMCAs have family workout sessions.

By making exercise a fun group activity, it can bring your family together. There are so many options for you to enjoy. For instance, you could do a 5K charity walk for a group your family is passionate about. You can teach kids about responsibility by walking the dog together or getting everyone involved in chores. Family dance parties can feature different music that everyone likes and can teach kids about disco and grandparents about the latest pop.

However you do it, stop thinking about exercise as a chore and reframe it in a way that’s fun for you. Playing will always trump jogging for most of us!

Banner image: Harvard Health Publishing
August 22, 2019
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