Author: Tammy Taylor, CPT
You’re taking your children to a park, or let’s say, a birthday party at one of those trampoline places, where every child is jumping and running around screaming wildly with joy. Have you ever looked around and noticed how few adults participate in the activities? Perhaps if you don’t have children, you’ve observed how few of your co-workers actually leave to go for a walk or take time to stretch on their lunch breaks. Most of us very mature, responsible adults usually choose to use our break times to check our phones, scan the internet mindlessly, chit-chat about all the tasks that still need to be done, or we decide we are simply too busy and don’t take a break at all.
According to President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, less than 5 percent of adults actually participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. That means that less than 5% of us are receiving the magical benefits that getting movement throughout our day can have. Such as; Increased energy, better moods, decrease in anxiety, better sleep and many more!
Going against the status quo of the typical “adult behavior” can feel a bit uncomfortable at first. After all, haven’t we all heard the saying “it’s best not to rock the boat”– but what happens if the boat is taking us in the wrong direction?! According to the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in nine states, 30% in 31 states and 25% in 48 states. This means that clearly our boat could use some rocking!
When we were younger, how many of us, when asked what our favorite subject in school was, would eagerly reply, “Recess”!? Recess was our time to run around, burn off stress from the school day and talk with our friends. At what point did we decide that exercise had to be some scheduled structured event that feels more like a dreaded chore than a break to play?! Often times it can feel almost impossible to get all our responsibilities done in a day. But exercise doesn’t have to mean lifting weights at the gym for hours or sweating it out on the treadmill.
Let’s put recess back into our days!
Work out at work: Perhaps you could initiate “recess” through a wellness program at your company, or start a virtual 5k, instead of sitting in a conference room,take a walking meeting with co-workers, or simply lead by example by setting a timer at your desk and getting up to do some stretches!
Get the family involved: Exercise can be a spontaneous dance party in the living room with your kids/dogs, or a post- dinner family walk, or a Nerf gun fight in your backyard, get chores done by having a dish- washing push-up challenge – who ever loses is on dish duty!
Join in on volunteer activities: What better way to put some fun back into your day than helping out in the community?! There are so many wonderful activities and organizations out there to get us up and moving. Join in on planting some trees, get those steps in by helping to clean up litter on the highways, build those muscles up by helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity, or get your friends together and do a 5k!
Whatever the activity, make the priority how much fun you’re having and not how many calories you’re burning!