Active Concept Training

Mobility, Motivation, and Mindful Conditioning

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Play time!

Posted by Chad on January 15, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Did you ever take a group of 5  year olds to the park and say "go play!"?  What did they do?  Run, jump, climb, get dirty...why can't you do that?

I said in my previous post that this one would be about working out.  Well, it is, sort of.  What we should do is MOVE--in many different ways, using all the energy pathways.  This is my mantra, my concept of training for fitness (ability to do a task) and health (internal organs working properly)--both mentally and phsyically.  There has been some discussion on differentiating between fitness and health.  I do believe in the difference, but I still feel they go hand in hand, and you can improve them through play!

Dan John says there are only 3 ways to lift weights--lift it over your head, lift it off the ground, and carry it for distance or time.  I agree.  Everything else is window dressing and only possibly complimentary.  Depending on what your goals are, you should do this 2-4 times per week.

What is lost sometimes is that you can work your "cardio" energy pathways by lifting weights instead of boring 'cardio' machines.  Actually, it is better for you in a metabolic sense.  These pathways are oxidative as well as glycolytic, phosphagen, and shuttle systems.  In other words, mix it up.  See how many push ups you can do in 5 about scorching the system!  Then see how many squats you can do in 5 minutes...again a scorcher.  Then go for burpees...well, you see how it is going.  Increase the difficulty of the exercise once in a while.  Depending on what your goals are, do this 1-2 times per week.

Now, about that boring cardio machine.  It does have it's merits (though it's better done outside).  Unfortunately for most of us, NOT for weight loss.  This is the big one..."'lizabeth, I'm coming to joing ya honey..."  Most of our bodies do not require the aid of, nor can actually lose weight by doing "cardio" described as a steady state of activity for a prolonged amount of time.  See steady state...that means getting on a bike and pedalling while reading, or elliptical-ling , while reading.  Doesn't cut it for MOST of us.  Few of us are lucky enough to see inches coming off by doing this only.  IF you are going to lose weight by a machine, you better do some intervals.  If you can read or have a conversation throughout, it's not metabolically changing your body.  HOWEVER, it IS changing your mind!

Steady state activity CAN help boost your brain power.  Dr. John Ratey, among others, have figured this out, and we are MISSING THE BOAT on this one folks.  Hop aboard this one, as it has merit.  Neurotransmitters, BDNF, and other hormones, are promoted by steady state activity, so the body helps the mind.  Depending on your goals, do this 1-3 times per week.

Now, training (playing) all the ways above helps the brain in several ways, of which I've spoken before.   But what if you can't MOVE?  Well, this is where mobility comes into "play."  Scott Sonnon's Intuflow is a great one to use here.  Have you ever taken a PVC pipe and performed an overhead squat, or power clean...these among others take the joints through a greater range of motion creating flexibility.  Tai chi, yoga and other activities can help as well.  Depending on your goals, do this 1-3 days per week.

And, for one day, PLAY!  By all means DO SOMETHING YOU THINK IS FUN!!  Swim, bike, run, hike, bowl, walk around the mall for an hour...whatever it is, do it.  Just ACT.

This is the secret.  Now go play!

Categories: Play, Fitness/Tasks, Mindful Conditioning