Remember when you were a kid and you just played around? For kids in my neighborhood with limited resources other than a bike and creativity, we made up games. We rolled balls up the roof of the house and ran to catch it. Climbed the trees in our yards, went into the woods to discover all sorts of fun stuff.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost the whole sense of just playing around. When I was a runner, it was focused. Working out at the gym was focused. It was all very serious and adult-like.
Now that I have to reinvent my life post heart attack and post 3 knee surgeries I’m looking for new things to do. And have I found a plethora of options by being introduced to Stephen Jepson’s website. This 72 year old man could kick my butt. And yours. If not physically, certainly creatively and with boundless energy.
Never Leave the Playground is a program of activities that stimulates the growth of the brain and body by specific training of the hands and feet. My method has two goals: to promote good health and to have fun.
Scientific studies show that constant, consistent physical movement throughout our daily lives is the single most important thing to do to be physically healthier and smarter, regardless of age. Every cell in the body is affected by movement. The brain improves as we use our muscles, which, in turn, grow with use. Movement training can prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, the paralysis of MS and Parkinson’s, and delay the effects of aging since neural pathways open and increase as we learn new activities.
People believe exercise is strenuous, but my method is neither arduous nor boring. Instead, I focus on play and games, many similar to those children play on the playground. I begin with simple movements which progress to more complex challenges for the brain and body. For example, I train both left and right hands and feet to manipulate large and small objects with increasing precision. This promotes balance and dexterity which prevents falls and increases eye-hand coordination. The activities in my method develop the large and small muscle groups and foster stability and physical coordination.
Instead of sitting all day, then exercising feverishly for an hour or so, I encourage constant movement and play throughout the day coupled with periods of more intense movement like walking and running. Standing and balancing on one foot at a time while typing at your desk, pacing while on the phone, or sitting while playing with toys for the hands or feet – all are essential to age proof the mind and body.
We are born to move. For millions of years, our ancestors were hunter/gatherers. During those prehistoric times, they were constantly moving to survive: gathering food, hauling water, hunting game, etc., and they walked or ran an average of 8 to 10 miles every day. There was a direct relationship between movement and survival and good health. Imagine if ancient man was afforded the luxuries of modern medicine. Who knows how long they would have lived?