Spending time outside and playing is just plain good for you! Play is an important source of relaxation, stimulation, and a fun way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being. It’s a time to forget about commitments and to be social in an unstructured, creative way.
Those who already spend time outdoors can speak to the life enhancement they experience simply by being outside. Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits. A new report published from the University of East Anglia reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress, and high blood pressure. “Populations with higher levels of greenspace exposure are also more likely to report good overall health - according to global data involving more than 290 million people.”
Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable. You can play on your own or with a pet, but for greater benefits, play should involve at least one other person, away from the sensory-overload of electronic gadgets. Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins! It can improve brain function, stimulate the mind and boost creativity. You learn new tasks better when it’s fun and you’re in a relaxed and playful mood. It can improve relationships, your connection to others, and keep you feeling young and energetic. Incorporating more fun and play into your daily life can improve the quality of your relationships, as well as your mood and outlook. Even in the most difficult of times, taking time away from your troubles to play or laugh can go a long way toward making you feel better.
In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Erin Dorn, Aquatic & Fitness Coordinator