Fitness Friday: Top 10 Reasons to Play

Play is good for you. It is good for your spirit, your body and your mind. It is also good for your relationships, your work and your social life. As children, we knew how to play. It was as natural as breathing.

Then as we got older, you were often told “don’t”. “Don’t play with your food”. “Don’t play around in that puddle”. You get the picture. “Don’t play”.

 Here Are 10 Good Reasons to Play

1. Play clears your mind. As you go through the day your mind becomes cluttered with your to do lists. Play can put your mind in a different place so you are ready to tackle the things that need to be done. You may even find that you discover a clearer picture of how to do those things.

2. Play is good for your health. Often times, play involves physical activity. You know that keeping your body moving is good for you. Your blood flow increases to vital organs, including your brain. Your muscles get a work out, your circulation improves, and you tend to breathe more deeply.

3. Play allows you to connect with others. Being part of a team has the obvious benefit of belonging. Even something as simple as playing with a child in the backyard encourages all kinds of good relationship stuff, trust building, communication and enjoyment of each other, to name a few. The good stuff that comes from playing together will invariably spill into other areas of your relationships.

4. Play allows you to lighten up. Do you need to take the edge off your anger, before you confront the offender? Maybe it has been awhile since you have laughed yourself silly. Play loosens tense muscles and laughter is sure to loosen your attitude.

5. Play brings balance to your life. Balance is what you have when you are playing, working, dreaming, relating etc. in equal measure. Play is a big contributor to overall wellness and happiness.

6. Play allows you to discover something about yourself. What kind of team player are you? How important is it to win? Do you enjoy strategy rich games or solving mysteries or puzzles? Do you love that surge of adrenaline when you bungee jump or go kayaking, or are you content with quiet activities, perhaps nature? What does your choice say about what is important to you?

7. Play is often takes you outdoors. Do you stay inside all day? Spending time outside gives you a chance to appreciate nature, be active in a big way and get some fresh air.

8. Play encourages curiosity and discovery. Every way you choose to play gives you an opportunity to discover something new. Play tends to tease your sense of wonder and awaken your curiosity. Practice things from a different point of view. If you want to pursue expert help with the wonder and curiosity thing, hang out with a toddler at the playground or the beach.

9. Play encourages creativity and problem solving. Games of all kinds are great for getting your brain in gear. Solve a mystery, take over the world, or outsmart your opponent…who can resist such a temptation? Also, playing with others will invariably include challenges. Sharpen your skills, and have fun at the same time.

10. Play is enjoyable. Life can be full of fun. Have you forgotten? Enjoy your friends, family and yourself!

For more information on how Take the Lead! can inspire play in your community, visit