Skip to main content

Exercise as play

What do you think of when you hear the word “exercise?” What comes to mind when you hear the word “play?” If exercise brings negative thoughts and play brings positive, maybe it is time to rethink being active. Changing exercise to something you want to do can help. Find ways to make being active fun again. Consider it a gift to yourself to take the time to have fun. If you are happier and healthier, it will also be a gift to those around you.

  • Buddy up. Find someone to be your activity partner. People who are active with their spouse, friends, or coworkers tend to enjoy it more. The right person can provide companionship and keep you motivated.
  • Join a rec league. Try kickball, pickleball, volleyball, soccer, or softball. You get your activity in while building a social network.
  • Try geocaching. Take family or friends on a geocaching adventure. Geocaching uses a handheld global positioning system (GPS) to help you find a hidden container (cache) and a logbook. If new to the sport, Three Rivers Parks District has several parks that provide GPS units to use within the park.
  • Head outside. Being outside eases tension and depression and can help you feel energized. Go outside for a game of hoops, a walk in the park, or a ride through the neighborhood. 
  • Try something new. Check out slackline, Frisbee golf, soccer golf, Goaltimate, or Spikeball. Try something different at least once. 
  • Play with your kids or grandkids. Try hopscotch, tag, hula-hoop, foursquare, kickball, ping-pong, badminton, or jump rope — whatever you and your family are willing to do that provides fun and movement. 
  • Entertain yourself. Download an audio book or podcast or make a playlist to listen to while you walk.
  • Get a dog. Your furry friend will probably want to go for a walk every day. If having your own dog is too much of a commitment, consider volunteering at a humane society or animal shelter. 
  • Run (or walk) for a cause. Set yourself a goal to train for an upcoming fundraising event (for example, the American Heart Association Twin Cities Heart Walk). Learn how to train for a 5K or 10K walk or run.