Have you ever heard the old statement “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” Well, if you have, and seriously thought about it, that old statement rings so true. All work and no play for anyone will not only make you dull, but also very unhealthy. Having fun is something we all seemed to stop worrying about when we grew up. Kids have fun, that’s all they have to do, other than go to school. But, how about fun and games for adults?
As a young adult when we got a busy life going, like going to college, or a job, establishing new relationships, moving to different cities, or countries and making new friends, there was no time for fun in any of that! And yet, that’s exactly when we most need to focus on the fun, as this writer learned many years ago. Because without the fun in these situations, all we’re left with is stress, and anxiety. What good does that do you? Think about this statement for a moment, by George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Wikipedia describes fun as, “is the enjoyment of pleasure, particularly, leisure activities. Fun is an experience often unexpected, informal or purposeless. It is an enjoyable distraction, diverting the mind and body from any serious task or contributing an extra dimension to it. Although particularly associated with recreation and play fun may be encountered during work, social functions, and even seemingly mundane activities of daily living. It may often have little to no logical basis, and on whether an activity is fun may differ from person to person. A distinction between enjoyment and fun is difficult but possible to articulate, fun being a more spontaneous, playful, or active event. There are psychological and physiological implications to the experience of fun.” For more information from Wikipedia on fun, read here.
Laughing with friends, swimming with your dog, watching your favorite old TV show, or reading a book might be called leisure activities, but the health benefits associated with some good old-fashioned fun and games are nothing short of incredible. Hopefully you’re now on board and agree with me. But I know you’re still wondering, just how do you have more fun as a stressed and busy adult, and what exactly will change in your life if you focus on the fun?
Shed some pounds. I know it sounds crazy and kooky, but this is the number one thing that will make you lose weight! Life is about FUN, not food! If you stop thinking about food, and instead focus on having fun, the weight falls off. We use food as our fun because we’re too busy and stressed to think of creative alternatives. Food is just so darn easy to rely on, and cheap and readily available. When we have chocolate or a hit of sugar, the dopamine response in our brain really does feel pretty darn fun, so it’s just as good, right? Except for the added pounds and the unwanted cycle of guilt and shame and the damage all that junk food is doing to our health and well being.
Stress be gone. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, or the fight or flight hormone, jumps to uncontrolled levels when we’re stressed. It’s intended to save our lives in a do-or-die situation; however, at low levels of stress, such as when there’s nothing to fight or flee from, cortisol can cause weight gain and can even inhibit the body’s ability to fight off infection and heal itself. Having fun and taking the time to play games reduces cortisol levels, which leads to an increase in serotonin levels. Oh yes, serotonin, the feel-good chemical, regulates many of our most basic bodily processes, such as sleep patterns, memory, body temperature, relaxation, and mood.
How about fun and games, which can really make you laugh? Did you know that even the actual physical act of laughing is good for you? When you laugh, you breathe with your diaphragm, which stimulates the cleansing of the lymphatic system, helping to eliminate toxins and harmful substances.
Energy booster. Having fun and enjoying leisure activities can also help boost your energy levels. Stress and pain are both mentally and physically draining. Taking the time to relax, enjoy yourself, and spend time with others doing activities that are fun and make you feel like yourself can help you feel less tired, more mentally awake, and more capable of everyday responsibilities.
Enhanced memory and concentration. The reduced cortisol levels and increased serotonin levels that come with having fun mean you’ll enjoy a clearer mind and better memory. We all know the feeling of running on autopilot, or becoming forgetful when a particularly stressful situation is troubling us. The same phenomenon occurs on a lower-level when it comes to stress.
Regularly taking the time to relax and play reduces low-grade stress levels and frees up mental energy. A British Cohort Study of 17,000 adults born in 1970, revealed reading for enjoyment improved our language skills, and even better, our math ability. Research has also shown, reading for fun can protect you against cognitive decline, as you age.
Find the REAL YOU deep inside. Rediscover yourself because you’re in there deep down inside you somewhere, just waiting to come out. Probably the things you were most passionate about as a child are the best places to start when you look at what you find fun to do. Did you play dress up or make believe, as a kid? Maybe you love sports. Did you love to draw, sing, build models? Maybe you should join an art class, a band, or start a workshop. Tap into your inner child and he or she will reveal more to you than you ever would expect.
Counting sheep. Spending time laughing, playing, relaxing, or participating in enjoyable leisure activities can also help you sleep more soundly. Taking time to relax or doing something to make yourself smile right before bedtime is especially important, but any fun or relaxing activities during the day will reduce cortisol levels and improve how soundly you sleep. The Americam Psychological Association found that 33% of the people with lower stress levels are much more likely to report excellent quality sleep, in oppose to only 8%, who said they didn’t.
Reunite with old friends. Who doesn’t want to have more fun? And fun is always better with company. Maybe you’ve isolated yourself a bit from old friends lately, that can and will happen when you stay at home all the time. You have to reconnect with those friends. They make life fun and rekindle that desire in you too!
Taking time to enjoy activities and conversations with friends gives us a sense of connection, usefulness, and meaning that can be more powerful than any prescription. On this new mission, choose a fun activity that doesn’t have anything to do with food or a comparison activity. Do something different and exciting, like indoor rock climbing together, or take a dance class, or sign up for a beginners’ photography workshop. Ask for your friends’ input; they may have even more ideas!
Reason to look forward to each day. For those of you who are really stuck in the emotional eating cycle, you should have something to anticipate every day. At the risk of overwhelming you, at least look at lining up something really fun and different, particularly, on the weekend. Catch an amateur theater show or some live comedy, or book a quick 30-minute massage or manicure.
Embrace self-love. Pamper and spoil yourself, as long as it’s done in moderation, you’ll be okay. You choose to use food to treat yourself more often than you realize, and while I love the idea of treating yourself and showing yourself love, I want you to choose an activity that only has positive side effects, no negatives, like getting fat from eating too much chocolate.
Take the time to consider what you find rewarding and luxurious, and do that! Making a habit of relaxing, engaging in activities you enjoy, and spending time with people who make you happy will yield sustained and increasingly positive benefits of consistently lower stress, positive feelings, better sleep, better coping abilities, and loving yourself, which leads to also,improved relationships. Loving is truly the best way to make sure you’re having a blast in this life. So DO it!
Find creativity. So, you say you aren’t creative? Well, you are creative in some unique way, you just need to find it, or rekindle it, and have fun with it! Luckily, creative activities are literally therapy for your mind. Whether it’s writing, baking, gardening, sewing, or playing music, a creative outlet can really improve your mental clarity.
The beauty of creating is that it doesn’t have to be elaborate or groundbreaking. It can be just about whatever you want, as long as it’s unrelated to work inside or outside the home. Using creativity in daily activities is shown to be very effective in reducing stress and anxiety, increasing brain function, improves mood, and reduces brain degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Opt for nutrition. Eating well-balanced nutritious-dense foods will be loads of fun, because you will feel great physically, mentally, and emotionally, as you and your body are meant to be in the first place. No more negative, unhealthy side effects from eating fast foods, fried foods, high starches, and processed foods, which may taste good at the time, but end up being no fun at all in the long run. Eating a nutritious diet high in proteins consisting of lean, grass-fed or free-range meats, and free-range eggs, cold-water or wild-caught fish, fiber and whole grains, carbs, fresh, organic fruits and veggies, high in omega-3s, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and full range of vitamins and minerals, will have you laughing and smiling, and having so much fun.
Spice it up. You think aging means adopting a diet of bland, boring foods? Think again! You’re better off spicing up your dinner plate with turmeric, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, and ginger. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can slow down the aging process and promote positive health in a variety of ways. Several studies have found that an antioxidant in turmeric might extend your lifespan.
Rosemary produces compounds called hetero cyclic amines that help reduce risk of cancer. Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Ginger can promote attention span and memory. Oregano has one of the highest antioxidant ratings, containing rosmarinic acid that supports immune system health. And while we’re on the subject of spicing up food, let’s look at some fun ways to experiment with nutrition-dense foods and supplementation.
Supplementation. For some unbelievable fun in your life, supplement with the all-natural, nutrient-dense, super food, Adaptogen, Peruvian Maca. Peruvian Maca will supply you with additional high protein, high fiber, full-range of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, antioxidants, full-range of omega3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatories, carbs, full-range of amino acids, sterols, and plant bio active phytonutrients, for added assurance in maintaining your body in optimal health and wellness. And, watch your body jump for joy.
You want true fun, supplement with Peruvian Maca! Peruvian Maca has a sweet and pleasant butterscotch flavor, which makes it easy to add to everyday nutritious drinks and foods. Let’s have a little fun with a couple of Peruvian Maca recipes.
Fun Maca Recipes
Dark Chocolate Maca Fruits Bites. Prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 10 minutes, Serving size: 2 to 4
Ingredients and supplies:
1-bar dark chocolate, 72% or more-2.8 ounce
2-tsp peruvian maca powder
3-cups of fruit, your choice, washed and sliced
1/4-cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes, roasted
1/4-cup plain nuts, chopped and toasted
waxed parchment paper
- Prepare a tray with wax or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare 2 cups of seasonal fruit, such as apple slices, orange slices, bananas, grapes, kiwi, berries, etc. Be sure that the fruit is completely dry after washing them, otherwise the chocolate will not stick.
- Create a double-boiler with a small pot and mixing bowl. Add enough water to the pot so the bowl rests lightly on top of the water without it overflowing.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer – making sure the water does not splash.
- Add dark chocolate to the bowl, and once it is completely melted, add the maca powder and stir until dissolved.
- Carefully poke each piece of fruit with a toothpick and dip into the melted chocolate, then place onto the wax/parchment paper.
- Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes or chopped nuts and cool until it hardens. You can also place the tray in the freezer for 1 minute to speed up the process.
- Serve or store extras in a sealed container in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week.
Chocolate Maca Raspberry Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen organic raspberries
Half a banana
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp maca root powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
Spoonful of room temperature, organic coconut oil
1/2-1 scoop protein powder, preferably, a vegan soy-free blend.
Almond milk and water, and use as much as you like to thicken/thin out the smoothie. 1 tbsp chia seeds, add last.
Place all the ingredients in your blender for 30 to 60 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately! This recipe serves one and is perfect for breakfast. If you’re making it as a snack, cut the ingredients in half.
Here are more fun Peruvian Maca recipes.
So, how about fun and games and what they can do for you? We certainly hope you’ve had fun reading this fun article, as we have had fun writing it, which covered how doing things that are fun for you can improve your overall health and well being. Are you convinced.
Receive a free 7-night trial sample of “Julva”
Get a free e book copy of “The Secret Science Of Staying Slim, Sane, and Sexy After 40”