Run, don’t walk – A quick guide to return to the energy and enthusiasm of your youth.

When was the last time you were so excited about something you took off running?

I noticed yesterday that my 8 year old doesn’t walk…anywhere.  He runs.  It doesn’t matter if he is going to brush his teeth, outside to play, to bed for the night; he runs everywhere.  And he is not alone. y-usa-feb-brc-2575_hr

One study, reported in The Daily Mail, found that “…the average toddler expends the same [daily] energy as if an adult did 249 minutes in the boxing ring, ran 30 miles, or cycled 82 miles at 12-14mph.”

That is more than running a marathon…every day!

So I wonder, at what age do we stop being so excited about life that we always run to get to the next amazing thing?  Do we stop because life becomes less exciting?  Or is it because we are told by adults to “walk, don’t run”?

Like most grown ups, we are guilty of that here at the YMCA.  Yes, sometimes it is for their safety, especially near the pool or on the stairs.  But there are other times that, as adults, we just don’t want to run to keep up with the kids.

The challenge becomes, how do we get back some of that excitement, enthusiasm and energy we had as children?

For most of us, we will never be able to completely revert back, but there are a few things we can do feel more youthful:

  • Sleep – Turn off the latest binge-watching craze and go to bed! The National Sleep foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.  They even give this neat little chart, which shows what you need at every stage in your life. The foundation says, “For humans sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being.”
  • Exercise – Yes, I work at the YMCA, therefore exercise is important to me.  But I’m not the only one who thinks so.  If you want to see what the experts at the Mayo Clinic think, click here.

If you are no longer exerting enough energy each day that it is the equivalent of 20 minutes in the boxing ring (not to mention the 249 your toddler just did), you may need to start slow.  Here at the Greater Peoria Family YMCA, we offer a variety of exercise classes to get you started, in addition to personal training, boot camp, free weights and exercise machines.

  • Fun – Hopefully you don’t need me to tell you how important it is to have fun! But in case you do, this article gives great reasons why it is important to play and have fun.  It even gives you examples of play…in case you forgot!
  • Spontaneity – The next time your boss asks you to write a report, jump out of your seat, run to your desk, let out a little burp on the way, laugh your head off and pump out that report.  That’s what your child would do.

If that isn’t up your alley, then start to add little bits of spontaneity to your life.  Say yes when you would normally say no.  Find ways to do little things to make life more fun.  Need ideas on how to be more spontaneous?  Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, just click here and find out a few ideas from Oprah.com.

My last bit of advice…the next time you see a child running, don’t tell them to walk.  Instead, jump out of your easy chair and run along with them.  You might be surprised by what you find.

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