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Why Not Put Some Lightheartedness Back Into Fitness?

By Sandy Schroeder

Remember how you felt when you were a kid, running through the park, swinging on the swings or hanging from the monkey bars?

How does that compare with how you feel now, when you step on the treadmill in the gym, head out for a morning walk, or do a half hour of mat exercises after work?

Of course, there are a million reasons why it is different. After your morning walk you may have to fix breakfast for your kids, navigate traffic to drop them off, and then scurry on to work.

Or, you may be exercising after work, compelling yourself to get your 30 minutes of exercise in for the day. Now exercise has become one more “must do” task. In the midst of today’s realities, being a kid again is not that easy.

A Bit of Whimsy

But why not try anyway to inject just a bit of that whimsy, that lighthearted, free again spirit, into your exercise? Couldn’t hurt, could it? 

Think about jumping rope, outrunning a bully, jumping as far as you can on the grass, or climbing a tree just because you can, and then see how you might capture a little of that spirit now.

The setting can free you up – The beach, the quietest spot in the park, a nearby viewpoint, can all add a little thoughtfulness to your walk and make you feel a little less jaded or pessimistic.

Timing can be crucial - If you are a morning person make the most of that crisp, absolutely fresh morning air, and do some unexpected new exercise such as jumping rope or doing headstands? Just make sure it is something that feels like fun, and go for it.

Spontaneity helps - Go for silliness. Head out for a walk with your child after work, and play games as you go. A game based on who can spot the biggest, the greenest, the funniest object can have you both giggling as you talk and walk. It can gently open the door to real, one-on-one talks and make your walk one of the best parts of the day.

Really enjoy favorites – If you love the water, why not up your time swimming, boating, fishing, or sailing? If you feel like a different person outside, why not drop back on the gym workouts and walk, run, play tennis or golf instead?

In a hectic, result-driven world, it is all too easy to make exercise one more daily objective. But why not pause a moment, and figure out how to make it so much more. In the process, stress may have trouble hanging on to you. You may laugh quicker, and seem happier.

No wait, maybe you actually are happier! Give it a shot and see what happens.


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