I hope to help you see the importance of play at any age with this post. A few weeks ago a friend and I visited a place called Skyzone , I went to the one in Toronto. While it is important to get some intentional, focused hard training/exercise in, you have to take time to recover and play too. This will help you to enjoy the journey of health, fitness, and yes, even performance, much more. It depends on your starting point, your end goal and whether or not it is your J-O-B to perform, but all out, high intensity, killer ego bad-assery extreme everything, that is so hot right now, is 1. Not the only way to get amazing results (in fact it is often counter-intuitive for the general population and 2. Can be psychologically setting you up for long-term failure.
Let me address these two points for you:
1. Professional (and even some amateur) athletes eat, sleep, train. They do not have the lifestyles that ummmm 99.9% of the population have and therefore do not face the same challenges as most of you. You probably have a job, go to school, have a family, or just don’t care to workout all hours of the day every day and that is cool you do NOT need to. Yes absolutely move as much as you can in your day-to-day life. This doesn’t mean hours every day in the gym or going all out are required. Even just a few focused training sessions under an hour each per week (done consistently over an extended, lifelong period of time and with a good diet), will give you great physical and mental health, a sexy-licious body, and will allow you to live aka play more. Stress is our friend as it allows us to adapt and become more UH-MAZE-ING at things but too much stress, of all kinds, is a no-no.
2. Psychologically if you go all out hard all the time, whether you are ready for it or not, can leave you fried and unable to perform at anything in or out of the gym. This is especially true if you are a competitive or type A personality. Aside from that, it can be quite discouraging to newbies or those getting back into it, to not be able to keep up with that trend. This leads to a greater drop out rate on the awesome that is exercise….FACT…and science proves it lol (1).
Allowing play and movement of all kinds with some laughter and good times helps to prevent injuries by allowing joint and muscle recovery as well as varying movement in the other planes of motion. Allowing play and movement of all kinds with some laughter and good times also helps with humans NECESSARY need to bond with others for our mental well-being. If you are a pro-athlete, even you need stuff as ridiculous as this at times too 😉
I wanted to share with you my playtime to hopefully inspire YOU to just move in any way, to take some time to play, no matter your age, and to encourage you to do what FEELS right for you at your own level, on your own terms. Oh and by the way, laughter is good for your abs and your heart so please do feel free to laugh at this video ;-D
Social cognitive models of health and exercise behavior: An introduction and review of conceptual issues
James E. Maddux
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
Vol. 5, Iss. 2, 1993