Yep, adults benefit from play! More gyms and trainers are incorporating play into their programs because research shows that grownups are never too old to reap the rewards of youthful movement. Play is all-important for a healthy aging process.
There’s an abundance of rewards adults may reap through play:
- Reduces stress/worrying
- Increases endorphins/lifts mood/greater joy
- Stimulates nerve growth in parts of the brain that process emotions
- Greatly enhances energy levels
- Better agility and proprioception
- May lower risk of developing dementia and increase cognitive reserves
There are so many ways adults can play! Take a Zumba class, or sign up for an obstacle mud race. Do an activity that makes you feel like a kid such as jump roping, twirling a hula hoop around your waist or hopping on your bike that’s been sitting in the garage collecting dust! If you are at the park with your kids, go across the monkey bars or swing. Pick up your racquet and go hit a few balls or organize a pickup game of basketball! Grab a friend and take a hike making sure you jump over rocks and walk across logs. Do an activity that you did as a youth and you will have fun! I guarantee if you start skipping, you will crack a smile without even trying! I’ve seen this over and over again with my clients.
As a trainer, I love incorporating youthful movements into my client’s personal training sessions! I want clients to get an awesome workout but like to see a smile on their face upon completion. What I’ve found is that when adults do movements that they did as a child, they seem to have more energy to work hard while lifting their spirits and reducing stress! Plus, play helps with functional movement better enabling us to handle the daily demands we put on our bodies! Research shows that when people have fun while exercising, they are more likely to continue and reach their fitness goals. Thus, this kidlike behavior is very beneficial both physically and emotionally so get out and play folks!