Happy Snowdown!!!

Ever wonder what keeps us young and happy? Getting out, gathering with friends, and being silly! Get out of your head and into your authentic self by getting a little silly today.

In Durango we have a town party this time of year. It’s themed out and lots of people get into it. Events happen all over the area and people get out of the house, brave the weather, and gather.

Today work on finding a way to gather just for silly fun. It is part of what keeps us joyful and happy.

Here’s to finding Friday Flow in silliness!

5 Things to Think About Before Summer Chores or Play

It’s finally summertime! When I think of summertime I think of play. I think of lazy fun. And I think of easy days. I think I romanticize it a bit, don’t you?

Summertime is full of work, too! We’ve got gardening, lawn care, maintenance around our homes and land. There’s a possible painting job and maybe a big project like building a garage or home. All this activity takes a toll on the body. We often don’t think about our “work” the same way we think about taking care of our bodies during exercise but it still matters. Here are 5 things to do think about and do before doing summertime chores or play dates.
  1. Think about stretching. Move the body gently and stretch any muscles you will be working.
  2. Make sure you are strong enough to lift that bag, carry that cooler, move that log. If not get help. Use proper lifting techniques – keep the item close to your body, use your legs, and center the weight.
  3. Pay attention to your joints. Pay attention to the direction of your knees – they go in the same direction as your toes and nose. Trying to make them bend sideways ends up with a torn ACL. Shoulders are our most vulnerable joint. Care for it by making sure you aren’t over-extending or overloading it while lifting out and to the side or behind you.
  4. Your feet matter. It’s important to wear appropriate shoes for the activity. Going to be in the river? Make sure your feet aren’t slipping all over the place putting you at risk for a knee, ankle, or back injury.
  5. Hydrate! It’s important to drink enough liquids – the kind that aren’t diuretics (like alcohol) in the summer. The added heat and humidity drains us and our bodies need water to work well. Drink up often throughout your play or work.

And maybe we need a 6th – Don’t forget to have fun! Enjoy the long, lazy, dog days of summer this year!

Exercise Doesn’t Have To Be So Serious

Many of us work the grind. Over and over we do what we are “supposed to” only to feel a little bored and uninspired in our workouts. Kinda reminds me of the old Dunkin’ Donuts commercials. What if you exercise was more like play? Here’s how big kids (aka adults) can play!First, find activities that you like to do. Usually, these are challenging, stimulating on multiple levels, have a sense of focus and one pointedness. They allow us to do nothing but focus on the task at hand.

Second, don’t worry about numbers and goals, and “have tos”. I was watching my children play the other day and they have no sense of how much they are learning as they play – only that they are having fun. Try to create this element in your own play. Of course you are doing great things for your body and it feels like activity, maybe even like exercise, but you want to create a sense of fun, excitement, and frivolousness. Adding in goals, heart-rate numbers, sets, reps, time lines, and body weight can dampen spirits and drudgery creeps in. You are no longer doing the activity just because you enjoy it. You are no longer being mindful in the moment focusing on the activity at hand, instead your mind has gone off to charts and graphs of future goals.

Third, try something new, take your game to the next level, introduce a new skill, or attempt to focus on one element of your activity. For example: downhill skiing – when I attempt to focus only on my breathing the rest of my body follows and I become much more mindful of my body in space. This allows me to focus on one element of the technique with a sense of wonder and curiosity rather than goals and future benefits.

Finally, the sense of wonder and joy are key to keeping playfulness alive. If you have forgotten how to do this spend some time watching children play. They bring a sense of curiosity and wonder to their games. Some questions to ask might be:

What if we try it this way next time?

I wonder if I can make this jump again?

What if I move my foot that way?

What happens when I run this fast or in zig zags or stop and start?

How is it different when ________?

Playing is just as important for adults as it is for kids. So get your game on and take yourself to the park. Get moving, stop worrying, and reap the benefits of activity and mindfulness all in one fun, exciting, and inspiring movement session.