Thursday, July 26, 2012

We Don't Play Enough

We don't play enough. Play is essential for health and vitality. It keeps you young, mentally sharp and energized. A life without play is a life that is lacking, well,  life. 

Playing nourishes your brain and your body. I think it literally keeps the ravages of time away. Have you ever noticed the joy illuminating from children? That spark that is in their eyes? Children are constantly playing. You can see this same spark in adults who engage in regular play. 

This observation was really highlighted for me on my family vacation. I spent a whole week on a paddleboard. Everyday I was playing on that board. That was the most awesome vacation I have had, as far as energy and joy goes. Well, the Disney vacation was great too, but that was full of all kinds of play. Anyway, I also noticed that every adult who got on those paddleboards was filled with joy and that "spark" of excitement and youth. I watched people their twenty's to their seventies engage in play on a paddleboard for a week and they were all filled with life! 

Yes, maybe the paddleboard gave them a new challenge to conquer, but isn't that what play is? Engaging in something new to learn, explore, and overcome? Exploration and creativity are a huge part of play. Exploring new experiences, new movements, or forgotten movements. Maybe creating movements, or making games to conquer. All of this keeps your brain engaged and your body healthy. 

Play encourages healthy, whole body movement and coordination. It encourages new thoughts and even the growth of new neural connections. If you are constantly growing and developing your brain, how can you grow old? You can't!

We need to play. The moment we decide we are too grown, or too old to play is the moment we decide to grow old. Choosing not to play is like choosing to decline in health and vitality. Don't do this! Find things you like to do, games you like to play, monkey bars you want to climb, hills you want to conquer. 

Don't put away all childish things. We can learn so much from children. Not only can we learn from how they move and develop, we can learn from how they approach life. They live. We should be living too. Go outside and play!


Aleks's Courage Corner said...

So true! It's amazing how just moving around in a different way and taking on new little challenges fills people with life. Routines + play = full-body and mind equation. If you leave play out, that's when your equation turns into a problem :-)

Tim Anderson said...


So true! Thank you so much for reading and contributing!


Sebastian Müller said...


i recently had a similar experience with a slackline.

I thought I had been practicing 30 minutes or so. It was 2 hours!

The time flew by. Play is so much fun. That was a nice flow. :D