I’m gonna start this post off by saying - I realize I come from a biased position. You may think that I’m part of that special breed that thinks fitness is fun. Well I’d respond by saying, “Yeah, I totally love and enjoy working out!” I really do. But 100% there are days, even weeks, that I would much rather not be doing a structured workout. This is for a lot of reasons, one of them being that I have totally accepted the fact that I am a person that cannot strive off of structure. I like being free and I like spontaneity. Although, I have found massive improvements in strength and aesthetics when on a structured program, that may not be for everybody. However, if it IS, here is why I think you should find some time for some play in your fitness programs.
If you are having fun with your workouts, why would you EVER stop that momentum? Let’s be real. A lot of time pre-workout is spent dreading walking into the gym and putting on those runners. Not to say that those workouts aren’t important (because they definitely are), but find time to be active doing something you actually like. Yes, that means taking up a dance class, kicking around a soccer ball, or playing tag with your dog.
You see, once you get into that flow state (where you’re so into something that you almost get lost in that activity) while doing something active, you are likely improving your cardiovascular, mental, emotional, and of course physical health. Yep, fun and health can both be in the same sentence.
1 rep, 2 reps, 3 reps, 4.. Oh my I’m a robot and this workout is a chore. You work so hard in the gym, developing a stronger you, more mobile body and the only time you allow yourself to move is repetitive movements in the gym. Think about it like reading a separate book for fun while you’re studying in school, or journalling on the side of writing for work. Being able to express yourself physically can provide you with so much intuition of your own body. See where your movement takes you, this can be done step by step, so I’m not necessarily telling you to go do back flips and cartwheels down your street (unless you can - super cool). Maybe you throw in your own type of flow after yoga, maybe that means just dancing in your kitchen (then post it on social of course), or in your warm up - what does your body need and can you find a way to get yourself ready to go outside of your regular routine? Express yo’self.
Explore new areas that your body can move. If you’ve been training for a while, progress in some area is likely the goal. Is it mobility? Strength? To do some cool moves just for fun? Can you find time at the end of your workout to explore what new moves you can do? Just do what feels right and what feels good. Challenge yourself to push a little further and see where that takes you.
Fitness can get dull, especially with no end goal in mind. Having a strong goal and strong WHY for your fitness and health can keep you moving (play or no play). But in reality, some of us really do want to keep healthy and active and our why may not be as strong to keep us going. Throw some play into your routine once in a while - and stay active doing it.