Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
25 Jul

Why You Absolutely Must Play, Every Day! (plus 10 Pointers for Successful Playtime)

I’m grateful to have our friend Darryl Edwards, fitness explorer and creator of the PRIMALity movement system, pen today’s guest post. Meet Darryl in-person and get expert instruction on how to make activity truly fun at PrimalCon Vacation Tulum Mexico 2014.

“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing

– George Bernard Shaw

When was the last time you played? I mean really played. You might regard organised sport as playtime or going to a party and getting drunk as play, but what I am actually talking about is play that is activity based on unadulterated and joyful movement. When children are asked what they think is important in life, play is often at the top of the list. Of course, most of us reading this article are no longer children, so how is this relevant to us as adults?

Play is not difficult to justify. Playful movement promotes practical strength, balance, agility, coordination, speed, skill and mental focus. Play unlocks the mind, it samples endless possibilities, it seeks and finds new levels of creative opportunities. Play is key to physical, mental, and social well-being, but it is often underrated and viewed as superfluous. Play is endemic to human development – a biological necessity based on our survival. As Stuart Brown the founder of the American National Institute for Play states “When we stop playing, we start dying…” Play is life!

Punishment, Not Enjoyment!

Yet when it comes to exercise and activity adults still tend to opt for a workout rather than a play-out. I often get posed the question by my clients. “Why should we play, Darryl? I have better things to do with my time!” As is the case in most instances, the question is easily asked, but the answer is somewhat elusive. I usually respond by introducing them to a playful activity that challenges their perception of fitness. For example, doing an arm wrestle against a partner whilst standing on one leg (get a play partner and try it to see what I mean!)

One observation is that the fitness industry has a preference for sweat, pain, and suffering. With exercise we mistakenly believe we need to undergo significant sacrifice in order to get fit. We should be punished for even thinking about being sedentary. Despite lip service to the contrary, “No pain, no gain!” remains the industry mantra.

The path on this painful journey may be endurance based such as long-distance running or multi-discipline endurance (swim, bike, run) or ultra endurance races – because 26 miles isn’t enough? There is also the let’s-get-cross-and-fit-and-work-as-hard-and-as-fast-as-possible-camp, whose workouts of choice produce an inevitable collapse into a heap, and puking is the ultimate evidence of their commitment to hard work.

There is the pursuit and sacrifice of sculpting a body as if hewn out of clay by pumping iron and isolating certain body parts to build muscle, working to failure rather than success – without a hint of irony! There are also the movement disciplines, which focus on technique, skill and form above all else, reserved for the elite few who have the effort, money and patience to achieve the movement of genius. Another category becoming increasingly popular are long distance challenge-type runs with mud or military style obstacles. Are you man or woman enough to attempt – and suffer through – these challenges?

Of course don’t get me wrong there is a time and a place for hard work, and I’ve done my fair share of it. What I am suggesting is that we should find time for serious play too.

But Darryl, Isn’t Play Just For Kids?

  TripleJump 1

Well play can be confusing for us adults; it is either seen as frivolous, deemed as foolish, or blanketed as childish activity related to relieving boredom with no well-defined goals. Adults often judge play as an unnecessary task even for their children. Instead, they encourage their children to pursue more organized activities based on education or those leaning towards “sporting” talent. Due to our warped attitudes on the subject, time for spontaneous play is more and more difficult to come by. It’s ironic that we now pay other people to teach our kids how to play!

Consider these comments by David Elkind in the American Journal of Play:

School administrators and teachers – often backed by goal-orientated politicians and parents – broadcast the not-so-suitable message that these days play seems superfluous, that at bottom play is for slackers, that if kids must play, they should at least learn something while they are doing it.

Elkind (2008) “The Power of Play: Learning what comes naturally”, American Journal of Play1

There are two aspects of play that are particularly relevant to us as adults: progressive play and imaginative play.

Progressive play serves the purpose of advancement – advancing from young to old through the function of play: Imagine a kitten practicing how to pounce, which is a precursor to catching prey. Or, a child learning how to climb a tree, developing tactics to manage risk as well as the ability to climb.

Imaginative play utilises techniques such as visualisation and focus to make you “work” harder. This is one reason athletes often use visualisation when training to improve their athletic performance. Research demonstrates that visualisation brings about quantifiable improvements as well as psychological changes.2 Studies also suggest that using mental imagery for movement can create similar electrical activity in the muscle as that seen during actual movement.3

Setting an Example for Our Kids

One thing we understand as parents is that our kids are influenced by what we do or do not do as adults. If we demonstrate movement as being punitive, then our children will see movement and activity as punishing and something to fear. If we are playful and excited about activity, it gives our children an opportunity to enjoy movement too. Play is an essential activity regardless of age. As adults, it is absolutely critical to learn how to play again!

So What Can We Do?

bunny hop

Playful movement does not need to be complicated. Lay it out in terms of basic movement patterns. Moves that are functional and possible to adapt for all – with challenges that can be scaled to each individual. You can piggy-back carry, focus on animal crawls and movements, or play games such as tag. In fact – even better – create your own games! What is the main beauty of this? The process of creating your own ad hoc set of play is more rewarding then following a set prescription of moves.

10 Pointers for Play

  1. We should seek to reclaim the enjoyment of movement that we experienced as children
  2. Make it BIG (broad, inclusive and general)
  3. Make sure play includes the active participation of others
  4. Make it fun with a small element of risk (imaginary or otherwise)
  5. Make play unpredictable and prepare for the unexpected
  6. Abide by the rules, change the rules, break the rules, have no rules
  7. Use the natural environment as your playground
  8. Use each other as “exercise” equipment
  9. Get children (and adults) to create the scenarios
  10. Minimise structure, time intervals and penalties – encourage real-world movement, imagination and rewards

1“The Power of Play: Learning what comes naturally”, Elkind, American Journal of Play, 2008
2“Advances in Sport Psychology”, Champaign IL, Human Kinetics, 2002
3“Motor Control and Learning”, Champaign IL, Human Kinetics, 1999

one arm hangDarryl Edwards

Darryl Edwards is the author of “Paleo Fitness”, and founder of Fitness Explorer Training & Nutrition based in London, England. He is the creator of the PRIMALity movement system, and world-renowned as an expert teacher, lecturer and practitioner of the Paleo lifestyle. He will be hosting “Primal Playout” playshops during August in the US and is a resident coach at PrimalCon events. You can learn more about Darryl’s work at The Fitness Explorer.

Catch Darryl at PrimalCon Vacation Tulum Mexico next March. And check out this testimonial video from PrimalCon Austin 2013 attendees.

Join Mark Sisson and Friends at PrimalCon Vacation Tulum Mexico in 2014!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Play sounds like a catalyst for creativity, too.

    Braden Talbot wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • For sure it facilitates the creative process…

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
      • That’s what I was thinking. I rarely physically play but often play creatively; whether with craft, writing, my day-to-day product development work or cooking. I need to get more playful!
        I just discovered your blog this week Darryl and spent ages reading it. I also tried out your 300 At Home Work Out! Great stuff, guv.

        Madeleine wrote on July 25th, 2013
        • Thanks for the feedback Madeline! Much appreciated, and I hope you get to do more physical play soon.

          Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  2. Yeah, I should do more physical play. I am somewhat limited by being arthritic but I could do more. I do lots of role-playing (historical reenactment). It isn’t terribly physical but it does exercise my imagination.

    Harry Mossman wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Harry – increase the amount of physical tasks during your role playing whilst doing your historical reenactments. It’s the mindset that really helps here. Best of luck!

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
      • I want to try LARPing for play now. ^_^

        kate wrote on July 25th, 2013
        • LARPing is a really good way to play. I did it as an activity once at my summer camp and it was really fun. I was also really tired. We LARPed by using pool noodles as swords and separating into two kingdoms. Each kingdom had to make rules. One rule was that you must die dramatically. LARPing really gets your mind working and your body. It’s a great way to play.

          Bree wrote on September 10th, 2013
    • I’ve been a re-enactor for 15 years. I lose 15-20 lbs every summer during camping season. I don’t do fighting or any of the other athletic things. Just the amount of packing and unpacking gear and walking everywhere and chasing kids is good enough. I play boffer (a sword made out of a pool noodle with a pvc handle) with my kids and we have a blast. I just love the creativity and research and most especially the hands on creation of things. I enjoy being around other people who are as weird as I am.

      Ingvildr wrote on July 25th, 2013
  3. Calvinball!

    Jim Haas wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • haha, when reading through this article that was the first thing that came to mind, you beat me to it.

      “The only permanent rule in Calvinball is that you can never play it the same way twice!”

      harry p. wrote on July 25th, 2013
  4. Honestly, there is nothing else better than playing.

    I can work-out until I’m blue in the face, but results always seem slow and injuries a-plenty.

    I seem to never get hurt form playing, and my cardiovascular system and agility always seem to improve. Coincidence?

    Mark P wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Totally agreed! You can increase the intensity and challenge too, to make it quite a “play”-out!

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
      • “Play-out” – hahaha that’s great!

        Mark P wrote on July 26th, 2013
  5. Those of us with pets are likely more involved in play than non-pet owners… who can resist those big, soulful eyes from my best buddy asking me to play a game of fetch-and-chase????

    Amy M wrote on July 25th, 2013
  6. Dance is my favorite kind of play! especially in groups, get some drums or put on some tunes — taps into spiritual, ecstatic, silly, just plan fun. Under the right circumstances (full moon — etc) I can dance myself into pleasant exhaustion!

    Karen wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • +1!! I have lost more inches from my waist from dancing than any other exercise – and it’s so fun!!

      KariVery wrote on July 25th, 2013
  7. Make’s me think of Dave Barry. When asked what what he looked forward to. He said, ” Continued immaturity followed by death.” He also said” ‘You can only be young once. But you can always be immature”

    Chad G wrote on July 25th, 2013
  8. I play every single day with my hula hoops! Even if it’s only a few minutes, it never fails to energize me & pick up my spirits. Once a week I attend a hoop jam with other hoop dancers, drummers, poi spinners &c. It’s one of the highlights of my week!

    Paleo-curious wrote on July 25th, 2013
  9. I have two teenaged daughters. As they got to around 10-12 years old, they and their peers stopped spontaneous physical play in favor of socializing, sometimes involving other activities, but not what we think of as play. I wonder if that is an artifact of suburban life or a universal phenomenon.

    Jenny wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • That’s an interesting point. I think this is universal (in the Western world at least) – especially in teenage girls where participation in physical activity (both structured and spontaneous) can drop significantly at this age in comparison to boys.

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  10. Well, if we use the definition of play in the first paragraph (after the quote) then I played last night. My daughter was watching Disney’s Teen Beach Movie for like the 10th time (it’s a dreadfully campy, but cute movie, and the music is catchy) and I couldn’t help but dance to some of the songs.

    Oh, and my cat has helped me come up with a great balance challenge, that is unique to us. His favorite place to seek me out for attention is in the kitchen, while I’m cooking or making my salad for the next day’s lunch. I got him used to being “petted” with my foot, so I will stand on one foot and pet him, while I’m preparing food. Alternatively, and not requiring nearly as much balance, I’ll brace one foot, with the toes up and he will rub his head and chin against my toes.

    b2curious wrote on July 25th, 2013
  11. I love shooting hoops for the heck of it (I miss 90% of the times), diving into the pool after my swim. Dancing at Zumba classes or just at home. I also encourage my family to go to the field and throw Frisbee and fly the kite more often. It’s all solitary activity, apart my daughter, I am too much of an introvert to enjoy playing with others.

    leida wrote on July 25th, 2013
  12. p.s. That jumping-the-park-bench photo is great. I wish I could jump even half that height!

    Paleo-curious wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Thanks! Speaking as someone who was never particularly athletic or fit as a younger man (I was more of a book worm) – I am happy to be able to express myself in this way just for the sake of doing it…

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  13. i had to think about last time i ‘played’. i think i’ve incorporated random elements in other activities…like our ocean swim, last week we headed to a new spot and did more of a snorkel, some free diving, playing in the waves. then on my run last night i brought my friends dog and we would race each other sometimes and i would throw his ‘squirrel’ for him. then i would jump to touch leaves on overhanging trees.
    so i guess more spontaneous stuff. main thing for me is to ENJOY what i’m doing and not get stuck in the ‘end goal’.
    i told myself that this year (i’m turning 40 years of immaturity!) i would still do the things i love but not enter any races. i want to be enjoying what i love without feeling pressure to ‘succeed’ at it in any way.

    we shall see!

    melissa wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Best of luck Melissa enjoying more spontaneous stuff, there’s no pressure to succeed just a will to play… :-)

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  14. Tuesday night after cooking dinner and cleaning up I realized that I had not really had much movement that day. I could tell my husband was done with the outdoors for the day (he works in the hot sun 10/hrs a day) but I was in the mood to play. So, I got two clean rags gave him one and put the most challenging look on my face that I could summon as I wrapped it up into a tight popping machine. We proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes chasing each other around the house in full on ‘popping’ battle. We had ’rounds’ that were basically constituted when someone was popped hard enough to plead for a short break. I use to do this with my brothers and it was still very fun.

    Christin wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • That must have been something ;)

      Jaybee86 wrote on July 28th, 2013
  15. I decided to give playing a try yesterday when I took my 4 year old son to the park. I let him lead the way and I played with him like I was another child instead of standing back and watching. We had so much fun running, climbing, crawling and jumping around together. I got a few funny looks from the other parents, especially when I was running around the park pretending to be Superman, but I really didn’t care I was enjoying myself so much. My son loved having Mummy play with him properly and he gave me a big hug and told me I’m his best friend. I will definitely be playing again soon.

    Faye wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • That is so cute. Really made me smile!

      Allison wrote on July 25th, 2013
  16. OMG…tea towels….best toy ever. I used to throw the gauntlet down (tea towel) after doing the dishes. The kids would howl. They’d take it up and run around the house passing it to each other trying to keep it out of my hands. Its was a free for all after dinner and it even beat out ‘computer time’. My kids have all grown up now so my 2 year old boxer gets to play tag with me outside. What do they say….growing old is mandatory. Growing up isn’t.

    Judy G wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • This sounds like so much fun!

      Nicole wrote on July 25th, 2013
  17. This is hard for me but I’ll try! I didn’t even like to play as a kid. I had a slinky once, but I straightened it.

    The Beckster wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Straight slinky. Ha!

      Vanessa wrote on July 25th, 2013
  18. This is one of the things I listed in my 6 week challenge is more “play”. Everyone had great ideas, I didn’t think of the dancing. I do that as I fix dinner! I do play hide and seek with my dog, but maybe I need to do that more. She is very good at finding me! As many others commented, the first thing I thought of was “Calvinball” as well. Too funny!!

    Beth wrote on July 25th, 2013
  19. If you have a younger Golden Retriever then you interact with a creature who absolutely LIVES to play, to the point of literal exhaustion if you let him/her. I was always amused by videos of otters who appear to have so much fun sliding down muddy banks into creeks and rivers. I must confess most of my play revolves around sports, in particular racquetball, I love to blast a kill shot into the corner wall or hit some crazy, creative shot that bounces all around the court. Also, maybe there is something wrong with me, but I enjoy my workouts in the gym, I try to make them challenging but not totally exhausting and painful. I know I MUST find the time to get outdoors more however, a huge flaw in my health and wellness journey, and I live near some beautiful parks.

    George wrote on July 25th, 2013
  20. This post doesn’t make play seem like play. It feels stressful. There are so many constraints! I am one who struggles to relax, destress, “stop”, enjoy the moment, and “just have fun”. I thought that was what play was really about?

    Dana wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Did we read the same post?? I admit that one-legged arm-wrestling doesn’t sound much fun to me, more of a probable ticket to pain, but I’m sure for many of sturdier stock it would be huge fun. The point is to choose whatever works for you, & maintain an open mind. There are many open-ended suggestions here… & if it’s his list of pointers you object to, see Number 6!

      Paleo-curious wrote on July 25th, 2013
      • Paleo-Curious : Try one-legged arm wrestling with a partner and I guarantee one or both of you will laugh in a few seconds. :-) Sometimes the proof of the pudding is in the eating, let me know how you get on.

        Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
      • What makes one-legged arm wrestling fun is that, unlike traditional seated arm wrestling, you try to psyche your opponent out by trying to make them lose their focus while you keep yours. Not easy. Generally both people wind up in a heap laughing.

        Myra wrote on July 25th, 2013
      • Paleo-Curious,

        So are you like, “bi-paleo”?

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on July 25th, 2013
        • @Paleo-curious: I do not know what yet, but I am thinking something naughty with the bacon and a barely succulent member of the brassica family. Maybe with a reduced balsamic glaze. Yeah…

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Dana – play is about having fun, but it’s more than that. It’s about exploration and challenging yourself almost without being aware of it. If you watch dogs play fight, it may look and seem stressful but it is actually very invigorating, challenging and fun. It’s all about the mindset, if you want something to be stressful it can (and will be) – but if you seek out pleasurable movement for the sake of movement you will see how much of a de-stresser it is. As in most cases the written word can seem ambiguous in the post above but if you watch the video testimonial you can see how much fun hard play can be, just as it used to be for most of us as children.

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  21. Everyone I know is too “old” to play, even though they are younger than me. They are too fat, unhealthy or “tired”.

    I need new friends.

    BeefBoy wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • I gotta agree with you. I’m 63 and at a 3 year old’s B-day party ( one kid; the rest of us were in our 50′s and up) I tried to talk some of the others into going for a swing, or slide. No takers. I finally talked my little brother into going for a walk around the park. We barely got started when they came in a car to pick us up to go home. I need some 10 year old friends. But there aren’t many of them around either. I need some 3 year old friends.

      W. J. Purifoy wrote on July 25th, 2013
  22. Its kinda sad that people that have to be reminded to “play”. Whats the point of growing up if you cant be childish.

    JohnC wrote on July 25th, 2013
  23. I have heard people describe hobbies as “play for adults”… which I guess they probably are. But most hobbies are not all that physical – I guess you could describe an adult knitting (my main hobby) as being similar to a child quietly colouring (quiet play).

    As far as physical play goes, my favourite kind is playing with the dog – throwing a ball for him, playing chase, and jumping around with him,

    salixisme wrote on July 25th, 2013
  24. Yes, adult play is so important! I’m so happy that you posted this. Check out my article about utilizing adult play through dance on Spacious’ website at:

    http://spacious.me/2013/07/guest-post-jenna-bonnichsen-aka-jbonn/

    Jenna Bonnichsen (JBonn) wrote on July 25th, 2013
  25. This post is great timing! I am so excited about going to my first Primal “Play-out” with Darryl on August 11th in Houston!

    Lora wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Thanks Lora, look forward to meeting you there. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • You will have a blast! I got to play with Darryl at PrimalCon Austin. He is awesome!!

      Myra wrote on July 25th, 2013
  26. I’ve read a lot of posts about playing, but I have very few ideas of what to actually do. I put on music and dance sometimes, and play chase with my dog (he’s getting up there in age and doesn’t play as often nor as long). I don’t know anyone else in this area who pursues health, so I am on my own to play.

    So, other than dancing alone, or a quick few minutes with the dog, what are some “play” things I could do by myself? Any and all suggestions welcome. I’ll check back in a day or two to see if there are any suggestions. Thanks!

    W. J. Purifoy wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • You probably need to find something you love to do. I “play” by taking bellydance and martial arts classes, painting (not all play is physical), trying rock climbing when I have access to it, swimming, etc. You can hike, toss around a frisbee, whatever. I think the key is connecting to an inner joy instead of just pushing out reps when you are doing something. Or, it is for me. Also, a lot of areas have group activities on meetup or listed at local rec centers.

      kate wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • If there’s a TV show you love or loved when you were younger, why not play out some silly scenes from that, like being Starsky and Hutch, or Wonder Woman, or Buffy? it’s a start, draw the curtains and have a few minutes pretending something utterly silly, and if there’s a chance to get physical take it. e.g., you’re locked in a cave, the floor is actually molten lava and you have to find creative – and safe, in real life! – ways of crossing the room.

      I’ve done creative workshops and basing it on something you know is a good way to ease into play, remember as kids, the school playground was never a playground, it was anything in the universe, and your bed was a fortress, or a cavern under the blankets… ;)

      Patrick wrote on July 27th, 2013
  27. Want to play?
    Play tennis.

    Want to learn how?
    Buy “Tennis in Two Hours” by Oscar Wegner just like Venus and Serena’s dad did.

    Tennis teacher.com

    Tom wrote on July 25th, 2013
  28. make fart bubbles in your Primal bath

    DP wrote on July 25th, 2013
  29. find a swing set-the best fun ever!

    DP wrote on July 25th, 2013
  30. I dance around to music–very clumsily right now since I’m 35 weeks along–but I don’t really play other than that. Even as a child, my favorite type of play was exploring and hiking–and making mud pies–which I could do since I grew up in the country. I moved about 40 cinder blocks yesterday though, so I’m feeling pretty good about movement this week.

    Beccolina wrote on July 25th, 2013
  31. I love everything about this article and Darryl accept for one thing. My favorite fun activity is the mud/obstacle runs. These seem to fit the bill for me in every way that he mentions. I tend to stick to the shorter 5K ones, I participate in about 10 a year with only one being competitive (I just try to better myself every year) and in the non competitive ones I help out my friends, family and strangers over obstacles when they need it. I train for these by running around parks-jumping over benches-crawling under bushes-climbing trees & fences-and swinging on playground equipment. I try to throw in a little free running/Parkor in public places where it’s safe and applicable (the definition of each, free running and Parkor, seems to be confused in various articles I have read). I just go out and attack a different course every time, never following the same path twice. I was a competitive athlete in several intense sports in every decade of my life and have found that it’s time to have fun again now that I’m turning 50. I have a son turning 2 soon so he has helped me to realize the importance of play again, I wish I had the money to go see Darryl at the retreat.

    Donald wrote on July 25th, 2013
  32. I coach Girls on the Run… and I have to say – the best way to get them to move is to play tag… they would play tag for 90 minutes… no doubt. :)

    Meredith wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • That’s so much fun, and yet so difficult to play for very long as an adult! :-) Kids have no problem playing it all day long…

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  33. Perfect post to read after my own rare day of play, and feeling the exhilaration of it. I’m 53, kind of new to primal (lost 20 lbs last year and don’t stay on it enough to lose more). Have at least 80 more to go, so I’m not one who can play too hard without fear of injury. I’m still recovering from an achille’s tendon injury after hiking some hills four years ago…

    Anyway, spent 2 hours in the pool today with a super playful 12 year old niece. I/we were jumping in, trying to swim to the bottom (my internal flotation devices foil me most of the time), racing to the end of the pool, seeing who could blow the best underwater bubbles and “smoke” rings, and who could do the most somersaults in a row.

    Play is good, good, good.

    Don’t know what to do for play? Find the right kid. We also have fun playing in the woods at times, hauling sticks/logs to make creek bridges, etc. or just scrambling around hunting for bugs and cool plants. I just don’t do enough of it. Today and this post inspire me to make time for more.

    LindaLu wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Now this sounds like the perfect example, getting children involved will always get you focussed around getting into the flow of play. I hope you get to seek out and enjoy many more opportunities.

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 25th, 2013
  34. I plan on playing “lets go to the county fair” with my son this weekend. I bought a wrist band so we could ride “unlimited” rides for the day, I do NOT like rides, but he does so hopefully I’ll be the best mom ever for playing along and going on rides. Then I need to get the flat tire on my bike fixed and we’ll be off and riding. Found out that where we live it’s legal to ride on the side walks, yay!
    Tomorrow morning, instead of accidentally knocking my 3 egg yolks (for the last 3 eggs in the house) onto the floor, I think I will playfully put them in my BPC with the butter and coconut oil.

    2Rae wrote on July 25th, 2013
  35. I took Darryl’s class at PrimalCon 2013 and had such a fun time, great workout, and learned how to play again. I love his energy and drive. And he’s a great dancer. It was a wonderful weekend and can’t wait for PrimalCon 2014 and do it all over again.

    Mary Kay wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • Thanks Mary Kay, hopefully see you at the Playshop in Austin in a couple weeks too!

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 29th, 2013
  36. Adult play = sexercise

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on July 25th, 2013
  37. Also? Darryl rocks.

    Karen P. wrote on July 25th, 2013
  38. Awesome! Fantastic article highlighting a simple truth. Every parent in the world should read this blog.

    We don’t get much of a summer in Northern Ireland but this year we’ve been enjoying a heatwave and I’ve been making the most of it. Having recently discovered Primal and more importantly Marks Daily Apple, I’ve been running in the grass barefoot with my daughters, enjoying picnics, playing catch, and basically having an absolute blast. It’s been the best few months of my life and I’ve never felt in better shape and I look younger and fitter than ever.

    I started this year with the resolution that I was going to “turn back the clock” and get fitter and healthier. With the big 40 looming in a year or two I wanted to experiment with my physique/attitude/health, and disprove the theory that you get weaker and more frail as each day passes. It’s been a great journey so far and has involved kettlebell training, Primal Moves (introduced to me by my trainer), discovering a dvd called “Food Matters” which has opened my eyes to the myths that control most of our lives in the western world, and much more. But it has to be said that Marks Daily Apple has sent this journey into overdrive and blogs like this make every day an absolute joy to be alive.

    Keep up the great work guys. You are providing a priceless service to people all over the world! :-)

    Ross Alexander wrote on July 26th, 2013
  39. Play is essential for cognitive development. I suggest reading the work of Lev Vygotsky, Peter Gray and Jay Feldman.

    http://www.amazon.com/Free-Learn-Unleashing-Self-Reliant-ebook/dp/B00B3M3KZG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374837649&sr=1-1&keywords=peter+gray

    Brian wrote on July 26th, 2013
  40. Thank you for this great article. You nailed it. So often we are told we need to be miserable to get the benefits of exercise. Having a 10 year old is the best reminder to play. Love to grab her hola hoops or jump rope and try to keep up with her. We bought a tetherball this year and found the adults have just as much fun as the kids. A competitive game works the core more than I realized by using jumping and reaching motions. Bike rides, swimming, ice skating and sledding are all more fun when you experience with kids. Movement through play seems to put a smile on my face and brings back those child like feelings.

    Pamela wrote on July 26th, 2013
    • Thanks for the feedback and even better for talking about movement through play…

      Darryl Edwards wrote on July 29th, 2013

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