Fitness Lessons Learned from Kids
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Adults often reflect back on “the good old days,” when life was as simple as eat – sleep – play. We may have taken this lifestyle for granted back then, but now, we have the ability to learn valuable lessons from our younger selves. Next time you find yourself struggling with your work-life balance and daily routine, try taking a step back in time to gain clarity.
Recess on the playground
Ever notice the look in a child’s eyes as they run up to a playground? As adults we can learn from this youthful enthusiasm for free time. Remind yourself it is okay, and actually encouraged, to let go of structure and simply be active in your favorite way. Find an activity that makes you over-the-top excited to be active and put all your energy into it. Buy that shiny new bicycle, do yoga in your front yard, or wax your favorite skis. No matter what activity it is, love what you do.
Play all different games
Avoid specialization. Kids love to play and explore all sorts of sports and activities. Human bodies are designed to move in many different motions and directions. Explore your own movements. No matter what your goal is for physical fitness and wellness, try practicing different types of exercise. Balance out your weekly treadmill miles with a kickboxing class. Trade in one of your elliptical workouts with a trail hike. If you are a yogi, stay balanced with a kettlebell class. Having the child-like confidence to try a new activity can be beneficial in many aspects of our lives.
Play hard, sleep harder
Consider how cranky a youngster gets when they do not get a full night of sleep or miss their afternoon nap. When we are short on sleep, we are not able to perform our best at home or in the workplace. We lose focus, get frustrated, and feel rushed to get our daily tasks done. Like children do, prioritize your sleep and experience what it is like to be fully rested. Set a goal of eight hours of sleep per night and wake up feeling younger than ever.
Explore the great outdoors
It can be easy for kids to get lost in Saturday morning cartoons, but fall is the ideal time to get outside and explore. When given the option, children embrace the great outdoors with a natural enthusiasm that adults should take note of. A crisp breeze, the shining sun, and beautiful colors await you locally at Baird’s Creek, the Brown County Reforestation Camp, and Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve. Enjoy as much outdoor exploration this season as possible to improve the health of both your mind and body.
When life turns hectic and we lose focus on our physical health and wellbeing, take a moment to recall simpler times. We can learn much from the energy and enthusiasm that children have for physical activity. Whether you are a child or an adult, humans are designed to play with passion, experience new activities, rest our bodies, and explore the great outdoors.
Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
Workplace Wellness Coordinator & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist