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The Importance of Play in Our Lives

If it feels like you have less leisure time and fewer unstructured “play” hours in your life, you’re not alone. Consider these statistics:

  • The average married couple works 26 percent longer each year than similar working couples did thirty years ago.
  • Leisure time among children ages 12 and under has declined from 40 percent of a child’s day in 1981 to 25 percent of a child’s day in 1997, and about one in four American adults reports no leisure-time physical activity.
  • A landmark Surgeon General’s Report identified lack of physical activity, including during leisure, as a serious health threat in the U.S.

The late A. Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale University and one-time commissioner of Major League Baseball said, “You can learn more about a society by observing the way they play as opposed to how they work.”

Our high tech life with its accelerated pace has fostered a culture that seems to be always working, always rushed,...

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Take the Routine Out of Exercise

Exercise

Gabriel Randa was Mr. Target Heart Rate. Every day after work, he dutifully trucked to his health club to climb the stair exercise machine, jog on the treadmill and pedal up “huge inclines” on the stationary bike.

Trouble was, he was hugely bored and began to dread the gym.

Cindy Samlith wasn’t bored. She was too busy with very important work to take time out to exercise.

But a near-miss with breast cancer woke Cindy up to the need for physical activity and a reprieve from her previously high-stress, sedentary living.

Both found their answer by adding the simple childhood ingredient of play to either enhance or encourage physical activity.

We all know how important exercise is and what a lack of it can do to us.

Or do we?

Researchers recently described sedentary life as the second largest threat to public health, saying that chronic diseases have increased dramatically because of physical inactivity.

There must be a way to encourage the regular...

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