Remember recess? Basketball, dodge ball, hops scotch, jump rope, and double-dutch, if you could handle it. Recess has been replaced by coffee breaks where we stand in the employee kitchenette, microwaving freeze-dried food or yesterday’s spaghetti, trying to figure out just how we plan to pass the time until we get off work. Or better still, we talk about which boring and often ineffective diet we last tried or which one we plan to experiment with over the weekend. There must be a better way.

It is clear that staying active is part of a good wellness plan. It goes beyond “exercise.” A body in motion tends to stay in motion. The benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle are endless. American Cancer Society research says that increasing physical activity, even as little as 10 minutes a day (recommended 45-65 minutes per week), may decrease the risk of some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. That is reason enough for me!

But just because you want to take care of the body the Creator gave you and live a healthier life doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive program or the latest infomercial sensation. It doesn’t even have to be your mom’s work out with neon leggings topped off with a matching headband! Jazzercise is out. Zumba dance parties are in! It’s time for more fun! However, after you get off work, fight evening traffic, and consider when you will actually have time for the grocery store to buy food for this healthier lifestyle, you might just miss your scheduled class at the gym. Have no fear. Recess is here!

Your health must be a top priority. So when you can’t get to the workout, bring the workout to you! Liven up your weekly routine with a little reminiscent fun. Playtime activities like hula-hoop, jumping rope, and the hoppity-hops are easily incorporated into your day helping you increase energy, burn calories, and actually have a good time! As you try to remember the last time you played “Red Light/Green Light” and think you are too old to do it now, think again!

Some employers are hosting “Field Day” for their staff to promote a community of health and wellness. If your boss isn’t that progressive yet, do you! Keep a jump rope at your desk to take with you on your lunch break. Are you asked to be a parent volunteer? Get involved and host recess time while lovingly embarrassing your kid; or plan a more active family fun day at the next park side bar-b-que. Can you imagine the Facebook pictures that would come from you getting your mother, aunts, or college friends to hula-hoop?

Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to keep going! Don’t take the term “workout” so seriously. Not everyone is racing to the gym. Some of us are joyfully running to the playground to have some fun!

When you were in school, what was your favorite recess activity?

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  1. My favorite recess activity had to be a tie between hopscotch and double dutch. Y’all done brought me back

  2. I loved hop scotch or jump rope playing “All in Together.” I also loved doge ball and Red Light/ Green Light. My favorite was when someone said “Yellow Light” and everyone moved in super slow motion!!

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