In the same way that it is much easier to eat things that have pleasing flavors, and to think about things that create good feelings, movement requirements are much easier met when supplemented with Vitamin F – FUN! With the right choice of activity, feelings of achievement and a general sense of increased physical wellness can be immediate results making the effort much more play than work.
As it is with all preferences, the definition of “fun” is as varied as the people who define it. What matters in terms of effectiveness is that the means of acquiring the essential element of movement is appealing to the person engaging in the activity. As two-time World Cup downhill champion and Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street shares with SUCCESS Magazine, fun is a primary factor in maintaining commitment and deriving the most benefit from movement: “If you’re procrastinating about working out, then whatever you’re doing isn’t working for you. You need to check into something different.”
Here are ten ideas for injecting Vitamin F into our pursuit of fitness from the BeachBody.com newsletter:
• Try something new
• Play a sport
• Get a buddy
• Get the whole family involved
• Go dancing
• Use an MP3 player
• Bedroom athletics
• Shop it up
• Fitness vacations
• Share your wisdom
In addition to helping us to improve the shape, composition, and performance of our bodies in an enjoyable way, acquiring our daily essential element of movement through fun and play offers more than physical benefit – it’s part of our stress-coping arsenal and helps us to manage the less-than-enjoyable aspects of life. Suzanne Nottingham, in an October 2006 cover story in Parks & Recreation listing many benefits of play as a means of exercise, learning, and development at any stage of life, states that “Play is essential to health and wellness. When an activity is enjoyable, adherence is the by-product. Pleasurable activities stimulate the nervous system, which affects your physiology.”
Exercise machines, personal trainers, free weights, run buddies, WODs (Workout Of the Day), yoga instructors, hockey games, kickball, and long stretches of sunlit beach are all examples of tools we can use to administer our daily dose of movement. Which will work best depends purely on which delivers the maximum Vitamin F in the time and resources allotted, and is subject to personal preference.