Required Reading

Get Out and PLAY!!

Play is extremely important and play is NOT just for children.  Even without kids of your own, playing is something we all need to make time for.  What does play do?  Play is a natural part of our existence and playing reminds us that life should be enjoyed and having our noses constantly to the grindstone does not produce the quality of life that we all are striving for.

What does play need to look like?  Whatever you want it to! Be silly, dance, summersault, jump, leap, throw, swing, climb, live! Do not treat play like exercise but like a game – and a way to express yourself and you will accidentally end up getting in a workout without even knowing it.

Next time you find yourself at the playground with your kids, leave your phone in your car and your worries at the gate and really play with your children.  Do not feel inhibited by what others might think about you because honestly, who really cares – most likely others will be jealous of what an awesome parent you are for paying so much attention to your little ones, and you might inspire other families to play!  Suggest an activity for your kids to try that is challenging, fun and new; show them how to do it, and then do that activity with them and make it fun – remember this is PLAY!  It’s so great for your kiddos to see you in action.  Leading by example is the best way to instill the importance of having an active lifestyle.

Challenge yourself by getting outside of your comfort zone.  When was the last time you attempted to swing on the monkey bars?  Do you remember how freeing and fun it felt to simply play a game of tag?  Go for it, don’t hold back, and let yourself just be in the moment.  You will develop a new relationship with yourself and your loved ones that will make your family bond stronger and your life more complete.  Play is therapeutic, essential, and downright fun.

Have a wrestling match with your significant other.  Yes, it sounds silly, but that’s how play should be.  Play leap frog with your husband or wife in the back yard, throw a ball back in forth with your kiddos, get some sidewalk chalk out and make a giant game of hopscotch and practice your jumping and balancing all while having a great time outdoors.

Finally, here’s a video of what happens at the park when the Fragoso Family goes out to play.

Now Get Out and PLAY!!

Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Mark over at MDA is a well-known proponent of this, and he posted a link to an interesting story this weekend about how physical play can improve moods and behavior in children:

    Man, when I was a kid, we had a huge play structure in elementary school. We climbed, we got splinters, we fell off (I remember once one kid fell from too high and got a compound fracture in his arm. Scary, but hey, builds character). I recently went back to wander around my old elementary school and was sad to see that most of the large play structures have been taken out. The swings are gone too, I had no idea they were a liability. They even took out a lot of trees that were climbing temptations; there’s a lot more plain, flat pavement overall (which, granted, have lines for kickball and four-square courts painted on them, but that doesnt inspire the imagination like the old wooden structure did. I mean, that thing was a CASTLE to us) They put in some new, smaller climbing structures, but they have more stairs than climbing/swinging bars, and everything is padded.

  2. So true. I don’t have kiddos (Yet?) But my dog is also a great companion for play.

  3. I love the video. My family plays like that at our local park. I get odd looks from the parents and I had one parent approach me and said, “Excuse, you are not being a good role mole.” My guess is she didn’t like how I was using the equipment for a fun work-out. Regardless, I was the most active parent at the park. The rest sipped on their Starbucks coffee on the bench.

    Two thumbs up!

  4. This is great! Studies have shown that we don’t let our children play enough, so why not ourselves too? We get caught up with every moment needing to be scheduled. Right after school there is always sports or classes parents are driving their children to. You would be surprised at the benefits of “free play”. Its shown to up creativity in children, lower stress and improve emotional balance. Play is also a way for children to act out what is on their minds so they can understand it (think of a child playing with a doll acting out a scenes). Its amazing the benefits!

  5. Wow! I loved watching your husband jump over that bench! That was amazing!

  6. You guys look like you are having so much fun! I however did not know that you were married to the Six Million Dollar Man! (Yeah I’m old!) That leap over the bench looks like fictional. Could he leap over tall buildings before your family’s venture into Paleo?

    Thanks for sharing. Hope you are all doing as well as you look.

  7. Mr. Fragoso is flippin’ jacked! 🙂

    I can’t wait til I can move around like that in mid air.


  8. Sarah I love this, I don’t have kids yet but was inspired to write a similar post after taking my neice and nephew to the park. We had so much fun together! I was playing along with them and saw other parents that were there sitting on a bench absorbed in their iPhone instead of spending the time playing with their kids. I think adults need to be reminded to play more often, we do more of it as Crossfit Athletes but still not enough!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. This is something that many of us forget to incorporate in to our life. I am as guilty as anyone. This is something that I am going to really focus on in 2012. Thanks for the reminder and post.

  10. Laura B says:

    Awesome post!!! I think back to the times when I would be too bothered to play with my daughter in the park, opting to play with my phone and be sedentary. I think of those times, and I play twice as hard now! I do get funny looks from other parents but it doesn’t matter. If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned, it’s to not let other people’s doubts define me.

    Besides, what parent hasn’t heard or spoken the phrase “I wish I could bottle up that kid’s energy for myself!” Well, I have bottled it and am trying to share it 🙂

    1. Love it Laura!! Thanks for sharing! : )

  11. Belinda says:

    Love that Vid, so much family fun, playgrounds these days have so many great things in them, sadly in my enthusiasim to play on the equipment I occasionally forget that miss 3 hasn’t quite got the grip strength and balance and she ends off falling off anything that rotates

  12. My husband is a dork, because every time I take the kids outside to play in the yard, he watches from the door and then goes back to playing Xbox. Grrrr.

    1. Yum Yucky I can’t help but comment on your comment! So, my husband does the same thing..Call of Duty, by chance? 🙂 right!!

  13. THANK YOU, SARAH! I am so glad to see you bringing up this very important subject… My family always makes the most of every playground. Yes, we do get funny looks. (also because we are often barefoot as well) However, I have noticed that SOMETIMES we inspire other adults to put down their iPhone and latte to join in! Kinda goes with my ” backwards fitness plan” … “I don’t work out, but I play as much as possible!” I consider box jumps and pull ups to be play, not work. Why make it serious? If I were training for an Olympic medal, I suppose I could get all scientific with it, but most of us seek exercise to enjoy life more, right? Why not enjoy the journey too! The more we play, the more we live and love life.

    1. YES YES YES!! Love your comment, thank you!

  14. Monica says:

    Hi Sarah!

    I heart your blog so much and adore your cookbook. You’ve inspired me to try out a cross-fit gym near me. I start my on-ramp in two weeks! Yikes! Super nervous but really excited. Looking forward to the next Paleo talk.

    Besos from the Bay!

  15. At 46 years old I am the biggest kid. What helps me also is I am in fantastic shapes, which encourages me to play.

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