The term play is almost non-existent to adults simply because they think it is childish and they have grown out of it. In my own thoughts I define play as a way to keep your body from not forgetting specific function from either a muscle or joint. It also shapes the brain and the nervous system making us smarter and adaptable to the environment. Play also promotes survival in the animal species.

Humans are extremely adept at adapting to their environment, or at least we used to be. The current culture of sitting, sedentary lifestyle and overall lack of movement and exercise is slowly killing us. It is happening so gradually you do not even notice it even when the body is constantly giving warning signs. Here are just some of the signs? These signs are common but they are not normal.

  • Non traumatic pain; pain that has no origin but does not relieve with self-therapy and you require a health care provider.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Tightness and stiffness.
  • Poor mobility.
  • Lack of mental focus.

At this point, a lot of people will say this ‘but I do move…. I exercise all the time’. Well exercise is not movement, it is one form of movement, and it is usually the same repetitive action done only several days a week at least for an hour.

The key is to move yourself more often. How much variability is there in your daily movement? Most of us to a lot of bending and sitting we forget activities like side bending and rotation.

There is no wrong way to play. When we are engaged in play we always forget the meaning of time. You will tend to stop worrying whether you look good, smart, stupid or silly.
There are three things which will influence how we move;

  • The task we are trying to accomplish.
  • Our individual lie history and genetics.
  • The environment (internal and external).

Here are reasons why you need to play;

  • Builds improvisation.
  • Play builds skill.
  • Play builds one to enjoy, learn and stand up when we fail or when we are down.

Three play action steps to do right now that will make you better at becoming better.

  1. Go down to the ground and roll left five times and then right five times. You will feel silly and that is the point. But I guarantee you will smile and MOVE better when you get up.
  2. Take off your shoes and run around outside on the grass in a figure 8 both ways. Taking off your shoes makes you feel like a kid again and who does not like running in circles. Be careful you are going to get dizzy. This helps your vestibular balance system in your inner ear. That makes you better at everything.

{Inspired to write this article by Perry Nickelston.}
Dion Njogu
Physical Therapist
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

All Work And No Play

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