In favour of play!

The New Year brings out the list makers. Here’s Huff Po’s “The Best And Worst Health Trends Of 2013.”

Tracy’s already taken their inclusion of vegan diets to task. They say, “Somewhere between PETA’s annual list of the sexiest vegan celebs and renowned food writer Mark Bittman’s VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health… for Good, 2013 became the year of the vegan. Vegans tend to be thinner and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure than omnivores and vegetarians alike, according to a 2009 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you want to try an animal-product-free lifestyle — even just part time — make sure you get enough protein daily, advises Martica Heaner Ph.D., a nutritionist and exercise physiologist based in New York City.”

But Tracy says, “Repeat after me: Going vegan isn’t a fitness trend.”

But here’s two of the best on their list, in my view: fun runs and playground workouts.

Fun runs

“Whether it involves running through foam-covered obstacles or getting splattered with colored powder, fun runs have it right: Fun is the ultimate motivator, according to Edward L. Deci, Ph.D., a motivational researcher and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. People who work out for the pure joy of working out rather than for a result (think: lose those last five pounds) actually stick with workouts longer and reap better results, he says. So grab your friends and sign up!”

We’ve written lots about these too.

Image: Me and my cousin, post warrior dash!

Playground workouts

“Girls (even grown ones) just want to have fun! And playground workouts — from adult playground fitness parks across California to the jungle gym-inspired Synrgy360 stations in gyms — are designed to help them have just that. “As adults, we just don’t play enough. Play is good for your body and mind. These workouts give us an opportunity to let loose and explore new ways of burning calories while having fun,” diLeonardo says. Plus, with bars for climbing, ropes for pulling, and platforms for jumping, playground workouts strengthen your entire body through natural, multi-joint exercises to improve your fitness both in and out of the gym.”

We’ve written about play before too:

But I’ve got lots more to say about thinking in terms of play, rather than in terms of exercise. See Is it time to ditch exercise? for a start. I think that’s especially true for children.

Blog posts on play in my future and maybe more actual play too!

Here’s some sample playground workouts to get us started:

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