The Health Benefits of Having Adequate Amounts of “Play” in Your Life

Heart disease is the nation’s number one cause of death.  No matter if you’re vegan or a meat eater, if you don’t get any exercise, you’re going to be at-risk later in your geriatric life, if not sooner.  As we grow older, we often forget how important playtime really is, both mentally and physically.  By scheduling a little time to dance, pass a ball around, or go for a walk, you will be lower your chance for heart attack or stroke tremendously.

The American Heart Association recommends to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, 75 minutes of heavy exercise.  These 150 minutes are easy if you divide it up into short 30 minute sessions a few times a week, or a few 15 minute breaks to play each day.

Be Serious, But Have Fun

How you get your daily exercise is up to you.  You don’t need to join a gym or play sports, some of the simplest exercises can be the most effective forms of exercise.  If you live in an upstairs room or apartment, you can simply climb up and down the steps for 10-15 minute intervals, to start out.

Swimming for 30min to an hour just a few times a week is very effective, and fun!  Try picking up a Nintendo Wii, if you’re looking for a fun indoor activity by yourself or with family.  They won’t even know that your plan was to fight against cardiovascular diseases, unless you want to pass the healthy bug along to them.

Baby Steps

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with incorporating exercise into your daily routine, just remember that any little bit of introduced playtime will help.  Good habits must be formed gradually, otherwise the rebel in us all will naturally find ways of avoiding change.  Try brief spurts of activity, like getting up and doing a few jumping jacks, push-ups, and/or sit-ups in-between work.  15min breaks are perfect for getting some exercise in and increasing your energy levels to get through the day.

Benefits to Older Adults

These health recommendations can really improve the overall quality of life for those who are getting into their later years where serious health problems and diseases start to weigh heavy on the mind.  If you feel like your physical health is lacking in strength, stamina, or flexibility, you should consider adding more playtime back into your life.

By working on doing moderate levels of activity at regular intervals, you will notice changes within the first week, such as: improvement in overall mood, reduced pain in joints, back, and neck, stronger sense of balance (reducing chances of injury), and of course increases in strength, making everyday tasks easier to perform.

Approach this new level of activity with a plan and don’t overexert yourself, of course.  If you feel like you’re battling procrastination or de-motivational thoughts all the time, try to find someone who will join you in your mini-exercise sessions.  Make a friendly game of competition out of it through the use of activity tracker apps.

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