5 Ways Playing Will Get You in Shape

As a personal trainer and fitness coach I’ve seen many clients approach exercise as a task to be endured rather than an activity to be enjoyed. This mindset leads to missed classes and sabotaged eating plans.

It doesn’t help that the two most popular words in the fitness industry are “Workout” and “Diet”. Who wants to go do an activity that keeps telling you to go Work and Die? Wouldn’t you rather Play and Thrive?  So with this in mind let’s look at some tips to keep you motivated, happy and having fun this summer!

Play until the street lights come on!  When we were kids you’d play for as long as possible! You’d plead with Mom for 5 more minutes of play rather than go inside for dinner! Today, as adults we’d rather move less and never miss a meal!  Find that enthusiasm again! Look for activities you love to do and work them into your summer plans. Garden, go for a beach cruise, play hide and seek with your kids. These all burn calories, but most importantly they all get you outside and enjoying the summer! You’d be surprised how fast the day goes when you’re having fun.

Learn from a kid. 
Don’t be afraid to change the rules!
Ever watch children playing a game they’ve created? What happens when they don’t know what to do next? Do they give up and say “I’m no good so I won’t play anymore.” No! Give a child the space to play and they’ll come up with a new rule to any game!  There are no rules in fitness, there are guidelines that have proven successful and techniques to keep you safe, but there are no one exercise that is the only answer. So don’t let yourself get stuck in a “workout” that’s work! Getting bored with a routine? Go do a Zumba Class for the day. Too hot to go for your regular jog? Go to the pool and try an Aquafit class! Mix it up!!

Drink from the Hose!  The sweetest drink I’ve ever tasted was water from my backyard hose after playing soccer with my friends one summer when I was ten. We were hot and sweaty and that cool clear water poured down our chins and all over our shirts as we gulped it down by the mouthful.  The summer brings with it all sorts of sugary drinks and rummy cocktails, and its fine to enjoy them once in a while. But, learn to love a tall cold glass of water again. Nothing beats it on a hot day and especially after a hard played game of exercise!

Never go anywhere without a ball.  What’s the first thing you think of when you see an adult or child carrying a ball? They’re going to go play something right? Keep a tennis ball in your trunk wherever you go. It is the most versatile piece of exercise equipment you’ll ever need. It can be an impromptu football, baseball or soccer ball, a stress reliever when you squeeze it, a masseuse when you roll on it, an instant dog tirer, and an instant kid tirer too!

Here are a few games to try with one of your own:
Jog and Pass: Find a friend to jog with you and bounce the ball back and forth as you run. See how long it takes before you’re sprinting after the ball giggling.
Wide Receiver: Switch between quarterback and receiver and call the play!
Hand Balance: Put the ball on the back of your hand and try to move around without dropping it
Learn to Juggle!

Play with your Family.  A Family that plays together stays together. Not only will playing with your kids burn calories and help keep you moving, build bonds, and give you a chance to connect with them.  You’ll also be giving your child a great opportunity to learn the skills they need to be active as they get older. Studies show that a child that grows up in a family where both parents are inactive are 88% more likely to become obese than those with active healthy parents. So be the parent they look up to to play!

Dedicate to your success,
Sean Gogarty (Guest Blogger)
SGO Fitness

For more information/support: www.HappyFoodHealth.com

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