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I was recently on a ferry, traveling to Connecticut, and I noticed a young boy repeatedly lifting and lowering himself between two tables that were close to one another. He was having a great time! Look on any playground, and you’ll see children running, jumping, climbing, and having fun. Most adults doing the same things take them more seriously (how many smiling joggers have you seen?). When did play become work, and why can’t a work out be a time to play?

Remember what it was like to be a kid, and make exercise fun. Don’t think reps, sets, or how long you’re doing it. Just move; and move as often as possible during the day. While gyms can provide tools, body weight is all you need. Thinking out of the box, and keeping an open mind on exercise will give you options in places you may have never even thought of. The boy on the ferry saw two tables, and made an activity out of them. There are options for exercise and movement all around you.

Movement is only fun if you enjoy it, so find something you like. Try things like interval walking (walking done slowly, then quickly, in repeated, timed sequences), running, bicycling, hiking, swinging on a swing, balancing, push-ups, pull-ups, squats or climbing.

Don’t be afraid to try something new and challenge yourself. Something you didn’t think you’d like, or didn’t think you could do, could be your next favorite exercise. You never know if you don’t try. There can be a frustration factor when you do something that you’ve never done. Your body needs to find its way, and learn the mechanics of the movement. If the movement takes more than a couple of times to get, let it go, and try again next time. Usually the mind remembers, and it’s easier and less stressful the second time around. If it’s a balance exercise, you may fall or have difficulty holding the pose. It takes time to develop coordination and balance, but well worth it.

With any form of exercise, visualize the movement, and envision yourself doing it. Most of all, laugh and have fun. Before you know it, your workouts will become play, and you will be reaping the benefits, both mentally and physically.

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