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July 25, 2013

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

By Guest
107 Comments

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.

Darryl Edwards“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?

Triple Jump

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?

Group 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

Darryl EdwardsDarryl 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!

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

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Braden Talbot
3 years 2 months ago

Play sounds like a catalyst for creativity, too.

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

For sure it facilitates the creative process…

Madeleine
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the feedback Madeline! Much appreciated, and I hope you get to do more physical play soon.

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[…] Daily Apple / Posted on: July 25, 2013Mark’s Daily Apple – I’m grateful to have our friend Darryl Edwards, fitness explorer and creator of the […]

Harry Mossman
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

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!

kate
kate
3 years 2 months ago

I want to try LARPing for play now. ^_^

Bree
Bree
3 years 16 days ago

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.

Ingvildr
Ingvildr
3 years 2 months ago
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.
Jim Haas
Jim Haas
3 years 2 months ago

Calvinball!

harry p.
3 years 2 months ago

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!”

Nicole
Nicole
3 years 2 months ago

Same here!

Pretty fitting that we think of a comic featuring a never-aging child and his imaginary(?) friend.

Ryu Zaki
Ryu Zaki
3 years 2 months ago

Here’s someone’s take of a grown up Calvin.

http://www.thehighdefinite.com/2011/05/calvin-hobbes-bacon/

Mark P
3 years 2 months ago

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?

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

Totally agreed! You can increase the intensity and challenge too, to make it quite a “play”-out!

Mark P
3 years 2 months ago

“Play-out” – hahaha that’s great!

Amy M
Amy M
3 years 2 months ago

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????

Karen
Karen
3 years 2 months ago

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!

KariVery
KariVery
3 years 2 months ago

+1!! I have lost more inches from my waist from dancing than any other exercise – and it’s so fun!!

trackback

[…] 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 pl… Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Chad G
Chad G
3 years 2 months ago

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”

Paleo-curious
3 years 2 months ago

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!

Jenny
Jenny
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

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.

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 2 months ago
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.… Read more »
leida
leida
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Paleo-curious
3 years 2 months ago

p.s. That jumping-the-park-bench photo is great. I wish I could jump even half that height!

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

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…

melissa
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

Best of luck Melissa enjoying more spontaneous stuff, there’s no pressure to succeed just a will to play… 🙂

Christin
Christin
3 years 2 months ago
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’… Read more »
Jaybee86
Jaybee86
3 years 1 month ago

That must have been something 😉

Faye
Faye
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Allison
Allison
3 years 2 months ago

That is so cute. Really made me smile!

Judy G
Judy G
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Nicole
Nicole
3 years 2 months ago

This sounds like so much fun!

The Beckster
The Beckster
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Vanessa
Vanessa
3 years 2 months ago

Straight slinky. Ha!

Beth
Beth
3 years 2 months ago

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!!

George
George
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Dana
Dana
3 years 2 months ago

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?

Paleo-curious
3 years 2 months ago

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!

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Myra
Myra
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 2 months ago

Paleo-Curious,

So are you like, “bi-paleo”?

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 2 months ago

@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…

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
BeefBoy
BeefBoy
3 years 2 months ago

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.

W. J. Purifoy
W. J. Purifoy
3 years 2 months ago
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.
JohnC
3 years 2 months ago

Its kinda sad that people that have to be reminded to “play”. Whats the point of growing up if you cant be childish.

salixisme
3 years 2 months ago

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,

Jenna Bonnichsen (JBonn)
3 years 2 months ago

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/

Lora
Lora
3 years 2 months ago

This post is great timing! I am so excited about going to my first Primal “Play-out” with Darryl on August 11th in Houston!

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

Thanks Lora, look forward to meeting you there. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Myra
Myra
3 years 2 months ago

You will have a blast! I got to play with Darryl at PrimalCon Austin. He is awesome!!

W. J. Purifoy
W. J. Purifoy
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
kate
kate
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 1 month ago
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… Read more »
Tom
3 years 2 months ago

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

DP
3 years 2 months ago

make fart bubbles in your Primal bath

DP
3 years 2 months ago

find a swing set-the best fun ever!

Beccolina
Beccolina
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Donald
Donald
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Meredith
3 years 2 months ago

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. 🙂

Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

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…

LindaLu
LindaLu
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Darryl Edwards
3 years 2 months ago

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.

2Rae
2Rae
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Mary Kay
3 years 2 months ago

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.

Darryl Edwards
3 years 1 month ago

Thanks Mary Kay, hopefully see you at the Playshop in Austin in a couple weeks too!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 2 months ago

Adult play = sexercise

Karen P.
3 years 2 months ago

Also? Darryl rocks.

Ross Alexander
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Brian
Brian
3 years 2 months ago

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

Pamela
Pamela
3 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Darryl Edwards
3 years 1 month ago

Thanks for the feedback and even better for talking about movement through play…

Danielle Thalman
Danielle Thalman
3 years 2 months ago

Fly Fishing! Yesterday I was balancing on slippery rocks in a hot spring on the Salmon River while catching trout in the cold water just beyond! …and to think I almost took the Interstate.

Susan Alexander
3 years 2 months ago
Love this post. Thanks Darryl, thanks Mark. I live in New York, so close to Central Park – and yet I need reminders now and then (like this one) to go there for play. Can’t wait for my daughter to get home from camp so she and I can do just that. There are huge rocks there, embedded everywhere into the landscape. Not so steep, but enough to challenge one’s balance a bit to get to the top. So many other things there too, like playgrounds galore, all with one sort of bars or another for climbing. I’ve read your… Read more »
Darryl Edwards
3 years 1 month ago

Thanks Susan! I’ll be hosting a playshop in New York in September too. Hope to see you there and thanks for the feedback on the book!

Dianne
Dianne
3 years 2 months ago

Woo Hoo

I love following the advice on MDA. Where I live (UK) we have a Mirror Pool and fountains/water jets, on sunny days I often take my 4 year old son to play there. Today I rolled up my trouser legs and joined him!!

Within seconds I was soaked to the skin – we didn’t stop splashing, running giggling or having fun for nearly two hours

THANK YOU
xxx

Darryl Edwards
3 years 1 month ago

You’re welcome Dianne. It’s fortunate we’ve had a lot of sunny days of late in the UK. A reminder of the summer’s I had as a child 🙂

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[…] Make Time for Play  Adults need to play, just like kids do. Instead, adults give up playing, saying it’s foolish, frivolous, or childish. Today’s parents don’t even encourage free play time for their kids either, but are directing them into structured, scheduled sports events that will “teach them something” or build their sports talent.  Even kids have no time to play. […]

Asif
3 years 1 month ago

Use each other as “exercise” equipment

great point- that was missing from my exercise regime

David
David
3 years 1 month ago
I often watch my 2 year old play in the garden and he just runs from one thing to another, climbs up, squats down, rolls on the floor, gets back up again, laughs and carries on. It’s such a shame that we lose that sense of enjoyment that we had as children from just moving. Anyway, I decided to see if I could join in with his play and without really talking about it we ended up just doing a kind of funny circuit together, which involved running past the sprinkler and running our hand in the water without getting… Read more »
Darryl Edwards
3 years 1 month ago

There is wisdom in the crowds, especially when it involves children. Simple pleasures, kids never think of having to “exercise”. They just enjoy moving…

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[…] “sånt som hör vuxenlivet till” , så är det LEKEN! Läs mer om vikten av att leka här. Jag blir så […]

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