Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. As adults, we lose track of the organic pleasure–the sheer joy–of movement. So let your inner child delight in these activities that train the body and move the soul. What better way to exercise–not because you have to, but because it’s so much fun! You’ll also reap health and energy benefits based on the following key: (c) cardio, (s) strength/core strength, (f) flexibility/mobility (r) restorative for relaxation/body awareness, and (a) awareness.
Ball pass (s, f): Grab a partner and a ball for any of the following.
1. Chest toss: Standing and facing each other, pass a ball back and forth at chest level.
2. Ab pass: Standing back-to-back, pass a ball to your right, then rotate left to pick up the ball as your partner returns it.
3. Up and over: Standing back-to-back, pass a ball overhead to your partner, who then passes it back between his or her legs.
Climb and slide (c): Walk or run up a flight of stairs; slide down the banister and repeat.
Doggie moments (c, r): Take a pet break by playing with your pooch.
Soul dance (c): Get some cymbals, maracas or bells, choose music that moves you and just dance.
Get loose (f, a): Find a partner for some creative stretching.
1. Stand at arms distance, holding hands; bend your knees and round your spine to stretch your back.
2. Sitting with legs open and feet braced against your partner’s, hold hands and seesaw back and forth.
3. Lunge, pressing your hands against your partner’s.
Baby weight (s, f, a): Let your baby help you get a total-body workout (at one minute per move).
1. Squat, holding her at chest level.
2. Lunge, holding her at chest level.
3. lift her up for an overhead press.
4. lying face-up on the floor, lift her up to do a chest press.
5. place her on your belly to do ab crunches.
Jump for joy (c): Using a miniature trampoline as a cardio energizer, run, lift your knees, or do jumping jacks and slalom jumps.
Jungle gym (c, s): Go to the park and climb the bars.
Street games (c): Take a walk. After every two minutes, change your movement pattern by going sideways or backward, or skipping.
Tune in (a): Go to a flower garden, a beach or other favorite place, alone or with a partner. Walk with awareness of your surroundings; make it meditative and enjoy the stillness.
Take more time: Why limit your fun to 10 minutes?
1. Play a round of Twister (s, f, a).
2. Enjoy a tango, salsa or line-dance class (c).
3. Join the team: Did you have a favorite sport as a kid? Find an age-appropriate league at your local rec center (c, s).