Why play should be a health priority

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When I was little one my favorite toys were Legos. I can still remember my mom coming into my room to find every Lego strewn across the floor. I would get lost for hours building hospitals and houses; there was even a short lived pair of roller skates made entirely of these little building blocks.

I believe those hours engrossed in creative activities were an incredible part of my childhood, but why do we think that playtime is only important for children?

Adults need play too.

According to Stuart Brown from the National Institute for Play (cool gig, right?):

“Play is something done for its own sake…it’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

In other words, play is activity without an end result. We do it just because we enjoy it. Period.

It can be a challenge and feel counter cultural to dedicate time to something that is not considered productive. Still, the act of playing is important in creating community, fostering creativity, and nurturing positive long lasting relationships.

And, because of this, play is vital to creating overall health and well being.

We know that feelings of loneliness and isolation, can have consequences on heart health and stroke risk, for example. A life without play is one sucked of its vitality.

We need silliness. Belly laughs. Games. Dancing for no reason. Singing. Spontaneous jam sessions. Long rides on horseback.

Play, like rest, is something I think we need to give ourselves permission to do.

It is time well spent to engage with the world with wonder, curiosity and fun: go play!

So, if you need a green light, this is it. Relish in the joy of play. Ask yourself: when can I play? I’m so excited to hear what ideas and inspiration emerge!

Have a hoot : )

Antonella