Friday, July 23, 2010

Stop working out. Start playing.

Something strange has happened to me in recent months. I've started to enjoy exercise. I've started to look forward to it, to crave it. Going for a run, swim, or bike ride is a treat for me. Granted, it's a treat I indulge in regularly, but it's still a thrill that I get to.

At the same time, I've realized that my terminology has changed. I rarely tell my husband that I need to "work out". Instead, I am "going for a run, swim, bike, or hike". I'm doing something that is a hobby and an enjoyable activity for me. I often push myself, but it's still fun.

Today, I took my kids to the pool. I realized that my 2 year old and 3 year old have it figured out. We spent hours jumping, swimming, playing. My son doesn't think of it as work. It's simply "swimming" and it's simply fun.

Where did we lose that pure enjoyment in activity? At what age did we give up the pure enjoyment that comes from running, climbing, jumping or swimming?

Take a lesson from a toddler. Go play.



  1. Here, here!

    If it's going to be a lifelong habit, it should be natural. Playing is natural - and fun! I'm working towards reframing that. Sports (and fitness) are a hobby, not a chore.

  2. That's interesting! I think it'd be easier if adults could admit that possibility to each other. It's easier to have fun in company, but it's harder to find adults who are ready to play together like children!

  3. Kids can always bring out the fun in things.
    Besides you can get quite the workout just being in the water to catch the 3 year who likes to jump in, bring him back to the stairs, and make sure you're at the other side again before he is so he can jump again. Lather, rinse, repeat for about an hour with lots of giggles.

  4. That's a great paradigm shift, Deb! I can honestly say that I don't think of exercise as play.

    Our kids teach us well. Thanks!