Sometimes as adults, I think we forget to play. We go to the gym for the sake of burning calories. We go on a walk because it's good for our hearts. We eat vegetables because they have phytochemicals (phyto-what?).......
Can't we do things for the sake of pure enjoyment? Joe and his nephew Kyle, and my nephew Matthew are really good at this---or at least Joe can act like it for the kids' benefit. On Saturday, we took Matthew to the playground and then to the Jump Club---I'm not sure who had more fun, Joe or Matthew. They both ended up with some brush burns and Matthew was totally sweaty and worn out by the time we were done. They ran, jumped, slid, played, climbed....all the stuff that used to be fun when we were kids. I didn't play as much, having worn the wrong shoes and no socks (you can't play in Jump Club with bare feet or shoes). Actually, grown-ups are not supposed to play in there at all, but we went in the evening when no one else was around except two high school-aged employees who didn't seem to notice that Joe is three decades older than Matthew.
It had a dual impact on me---one, I was super happy Matthew had so much fun and it was good exercise for him (and maybe a little bit for Joe). It was also a sort of revelation (again) that we place too much importance on physical tangible results--what is this going to do for me? For my health/weight/heart?
When was the last time you played? Went outside with a young child and played tag or t-ball or just ran in circles? Went on a leisurely bike ride where the miles and speed didn't even matter?
What a great feeling to just play with no expectations about health attached! You might be surprised that you feel more benefit from this than a hard workout.