Fitness

Take getting fit to the fun zone like you did when you were a kid

Adult friends having fun with a football on a playing field

Full disclosure, I chose this photo because it reminded me of me. Fully dressed (only high heels are missing here) at a function when somebody says “let’s play…fill in the blank” and I’m in!

As a child, I was super active. I loved playing sports with my friends after school, and I took ballet, gymnastics, ran track and played baseball in addition to the standard gym class. By the time I was thirteen, I was still in ballet, running track, taking gym class and had started working out every morning before going to school. I dropped gymnastics because it was interfering with my posture in ballet and I stopped baseball after getting hit in the face with a ball and fracturing a cheekbone. I was too afraid of fly balls afterward and therefore not capable in my outfielder position after that!

By the time I started university, my dream of being a ballerina ended when I couldn’t make it as a professional, and I had given up track and field in high school to focus on ballet. Regrets? Maybe. My family and coaches thought I could have been in the Olympics for Canada for the 800 meter, 1600 meter or long jump.  But I desperately wanted to be a ballerina, and if not, I wanted to write and help people as a psychologist. But total side track. My story did have a point! It was that I had already started to slow down my activity levels. Mostly because of time commitments and focus changes as you grow up. And that happens to most people at some point in life.

Importance of keeping your fitness fun

Group of friends enjoying pulling a sled in the snow in winter

Combine fitness and winter fun with a sled!

People of all ages need regular exercise and activity to stay healthy. The benefits of fitness are too documented to ignore; and not just for weight maintenance. Regular exercise:

  • triggers your brain to release endorphins to help with stress and depression,
  • helps keeps your blood sugar more level, and
  • keeps your heart stronger as well as your body.

And these are just a few of the benefits. Adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to stay healthy and combat stress.

It’s also important to mix up your workouts to target different areas and to keep your engagement level high.

If you already exercise regularly and are looking for some fun activities to supplement it, or if you’re someone who can’t get motivated to start, what better way is there than going back to childhood. I mean have you checked out how children play? I can’t keep up with my niece’s reckless abandon half the time and the pure joy on her face just makes me happy.

 If you have kids: You can exercise with them, so you stay healthy together and get in some quality time!  Kids’ aerobic activity needs vary according to age. When you plan fitness time together, choose things that match their aerobic abilities, coordination and skill levels, as well as yours.

Here are some fun exercises you can try, and if you have kids, they are also child-friendly.

Water fun

Water sports are a great workout, lots of fun and an opportunity for families and friends to be active together. The beauty is that you can do them indoors, so year around you can enjoy them. Swimming, water polo or water volleyball are all fun. There are also water aerobics classes.


Safety measures for children and possibly you depending on your skill level
Younger children and those (including older children and adults) who can’t swim well should always wear life preservers.

In addition to the standard rule of not leaving children unattended in the water, you’ll also want to avoid water wings and inner tubes. They don’t provide adequate protection for young children. Trust someone who almost drowned with an inner tube. Adults who swim with kids should learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and other water safety procedures.

If you’re outdoors, remember to wear sunscreen and to reapply it when needed.

Sports

High School Students Playing Dodge Ball In Gym

Dodgeball

There are many sports that you can do alone, on a team or with family or friends. Some include basketball, tennis, squash, baseball or softball, badminton, soccer, and football (tag if you’re playing with children). While I’m on the subject of tag, for some silly fun why not play tag now!

I thought about dodgeball because the movie is hilarious and I was good at it, but how was this sport not considered too dangerous for children?

Most of these sports can be played indoors as well, so if you get momentum going in one season, you can keep it up for the whole year!

Safety measures for all
For all outdoor activities, wear hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses with straps. And if you decide that dodgeball is the way to go, I suggest full body protective gear.

Classes

I got reinvigorated with fitness when my sister opened her studio years ago. I came at first as support, but her classes were extremely challenging and got me in the best shape I had been in since I was in ballet. Maybe most importantly, they were exciting! No matter how hard an exercise was, it seemed to be fun. There are so many options for classes that you can do on your own or with people and children of varying ages. Dance (this comes first because it’s my favorite!), yoga, pilates, the list is endless.

Check schools and community centers in your area that offer opportunities for you and any age group you might be bringing.

Safety measures for all
Ensure the classes are equipped to handle people all ages if an injury occurs.

Lessons

Beautiful balerina practicing in ballet class

Why not learn some self-defense while you get, fit? Karate, kickboxing, and Tai Kwon Do are just a few of the awesome ways to do both.

Or pick up something you may have done before, or always wanted to try.  I picked ballet back up as a form of fitness, like shown in the picture (it was for an ad last year). Skating, gymnastics, skiing, swimming, how to properly dodge a ball. The list is endless.

Check schools and community centers in your area that offer opportunities for you and any age group you might be bringing.

 

Safety measures for all
Ensure the classes are equipped to handle people all ages if an injury occurs.

These are some of my tips for getting fit while kicking it like you did when you were a kid. Do you have suggestions?

I’m going to watch Dodgeball again shortly, and also message my friends to see who is up for a game of tag.

30 replies »

  1. Great post! I think there should be adult playgrounds! Keeping it fun is key! I started doing pole dance for fitness and it is so fun and a great workout! They even play freeze tag as a warm up sometimes 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I LOVE the idea of adult playgrounds!! That would be so awesome. I heard pole dancing is a great workout and a lot of fun…you have made it more appealing with the freeze tag warm up. Why has no one told me before now??! Your comment has made my day!!! I hope you have a fabulous one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the post! I find as a parent today it is so hard to keep my kids active. The electronic distractions they have did not exist when I was young. My wife and I exercise regularly but it can be so hard to keep them active, especially in the winter months. Active play with your kids is so important and I don’t think we talk about it enough. Movie night is great, but I think we need to be promoting regular family physical activity or I fear for the health of our kids. Thanks for putting this out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your story. It is so true that the electronic distractions today weren’t around before (I feel lucky for that). I can’t imagine how hard it is to keep kids active today. It doesn’t seem as interesting as it was to us. You’ve given me an idea for another post about ways to motivate kids to do it….but without technology being completely removed, it is not going to be easy! Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed this article Sam! Great opening and overall content. I am going skiing next week and if I could I would go every week. I also think that using face lotion and chapstick for men and women when playing outdoors is extremely important especially now in the winter. I grew up as a Tom boy so I played soccer outdoors with all the boys in the neighborhood up until I was 12-13 years old. Then I picked up volleyball and still love both sports to this day. Not a talented ballerina like you but I ran 100 m in high school and then cheerleading in college 😱. Anyways couldn’t agree more with you than staying active at least 30 mins a day. I tend to go up and down the steps at work just to keep the blood flowing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot Rudina! I haven’t been skiing in so long, I am envious 🙂 Some forget that winter still has powerful UV rays. I wear sunscreen and chapstick year around. I was a tom boy too, but my feet couldn’t get the coordination of soccer haha! So you were a cheerleader! Awesome! I do steps too when I’ve been sitting at my desk too long. Thanks for your awesome comment! I learn something new everyday 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah you are very welcome !! Yes super excited about skiing!! Totally worth the sun rays and the amazing exercise. I’ll sure as hell be hurting for days

        Like

    • Thank you very much! I had the same experience. I had a back injury that sidelined me for two years (over one year was the doctors trying to figure out what was wrong!) and I didn’t realize how much of a difference working out was when I got back into it. Thanks so much for sharing your experience Karen! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • For me, if I truly dislike what I’m doing when I work out, I feel like I’m dragging myself to the gym. When I like it, I’m running there. I also like to play outside though haha:) Thanks for your comment. Have a fabulous weekend!

      Like

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