Is Play Important?
It’s a given that a structured training plan is the best path to achieve a particular fitness goal or skill. But that training may not offer enough creative movement throughout the day and may even hinder our ability to move within our full range of motion.
For many adults, most movement comes from doing their daily workout. We’re lucky to get a 60-minute workout session in before our responsibilities beg for attention.
Make Time for Play
As a kid, you are naturally moving your body all day playing tag, riding bikes, swimming in ponds. You probably weren’t thinking about fitness goals, just plain fun.
This exploration of movement, which we lived by throughout childhood, can fall off the radar at some point, but it doesn’t cease to be important. Studies suggest that active play can be just as important for adults as it is for children because it challenges our bodies in new ways, and provides an opportunity for stress relief and social connections. In fact, you can gain more freedom in how you move your body when you start engaging in different movements and positions.Studies suggest that active play can be just as important for adults as it is for children because it challenges our bodies in new ways, and provides an opportunity for stress relief and social connections. Click To Tweet
With small gatherings gearing back up, and plenty of backyard family BBQ’s on the weekend calendar, we’ve come up with a few fun ideas that bridge the gap between fitness and fun.
Resistance Band Cone Touch
Pair up in groups of two. Wrap the resistance band around the waist of person 1 while person 2 holds the handles. Person 1 stands on the start line, directly in front of person 2, each facing the same direction. Place a cone within the pull range of the band. Make as many paired-up teams as you have people, bands, and cones. At the word “GO,” person 1 runs to the cone, touches the top, and runs backward to the start line. Repeat 5 times in a row. Next, person 1 and 2 swap places as quickly as possible and completes 5 cone touches. The paired team who finishes first WINS!
Medicine Ball Hot Potato
Gather your group into a circle and choose a SMART Medicine Ball with a weight that all players can handle. Put on your favorite music and assign a “DJ.” The “DJ” will be prepared to randomly pause the music throughout the game at their own discretion.
The goal of the game is not to be holding the ball when the “DJ” stops the music. Players will toss the medicine ball as if it’s a “hot potato” as quickly as possible to another player in the circle. If a player is holding the ball when the music stops, they are out. Players are also out when they drop the ball. The last one standing in the circle is the WINNER!
This game is excellent for hand-eye coordination, with an extra dose of challenge because the weighted ball.
Medicine Ball Relay Runs
Gather a group of people and have them stagger locations evenly in a very large circle (think all the way around the house, or around half of a football field). The starting person will hold the SMART Medicine ball. Assign a person to be the “timer” and have them start a stopwatch at the word “GO.” Once the stopwatch has started, the starting person runs as fast as they can to the next person in line and hands off the ball. Then, that person runs to the next person and hands them the ball, and so on until the final person runs back to the starting person’s position to complete the relay. Once the final person has crossed the starting person’s position line, the “timer” presses stop on the stopwatch. Now you have a base time. Repeat over and over to see if you can beat the time!