For most of us, growing up has meant a large portion of stress with a small side of fun (every now and then…if you’re lucky). But being an adult shouldn’t mean you never get to enjoy the relaxing and body-strengthening benefits of play.
In fact, if we can get over the idea that playing games are just for kids, we might tap into the calorie-burning, memory-boosting, and stress-relieving effects of partaking in some of your most favorite childhood games.
They might not be as cerebral as reading a book or watching an interesting documentary. But these classic childhood games can help you wind down from work, engage your mental and physical health, and most of all, have fun!
This is a timeless game that’s easily played with just kids, adults, or a blend of both. Put on your favorite bouncy playlist, get out a variety of chairs and battle it out for ownership of the last chair standing.
This game will get your hips moving, toes tapping, and build up a healthy competitive spirit for those who feel a little out of practise.
Dodgeball is a fast-paced game filled with unexpected twists and turns that your body and mind will thank you for. This game is best for large groups of people that can be set to any level of difficulty, depending on the players.
Each attempt you make to evade the hurtling ball will wake up muscles you forgot you had and give your body an opportunity to perform some heart-strengthening cardio.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is the perfect game for a group of adults who want to engage in something fun, but aren’t quite ready to hit the court just yet. You can play this slow-paced game anywhere from a nature reserve to a family home—as long as there are adult-sized nooks and crannies to climb into.
Hide and seek might not seem like a very physical game. But rest assured there will be plenty of opportunities for creative problem-solving as you work out the fastest way to the top of a child’s treehouse (hint: it’s not as easy as it looks)!
If physical games seem too far outside your comfort zone, you can always strengthen your mind with a couple of testy memory games.
Activities that require memory retention are considered quintessential for young kids, but many adults forget how much they can benefit from flexing that part of their brains.
Crosswords, Sudoku, and any number of classic board games can all provide adults with a platform to test their memory and enhance problem-solving skills in a fun and creative way.
Hula hooping is an excellent practice for adults who crave gentle but genuinely impactful exercise. By improving your balance and strengthening your abdominal muscles, hula hooping is the perfect method for burning calories while having fun.
You can recruit every member of the family to participate in this groovy, hip-swinging exercise that keeps you simultaneously toned and amused for hours.
Embrace Your Inner Child
These are just a few of the many kid’s games that are good for your health.
Of course, you can also take inspiration from all the other activities you did when you were young and may have stopped doing. Build sandcastles on the beach, pack a picnic in a pannier and jump on your bicycle, or play hopscotch … what’s stopping you?
Just because you’re older now, it doesn’t mean you should lose out on the fun and the health benefits of playing like a big kid.
As an editor, Ellen Klein covers topics such as financial management and risk management, as well as health-related topics. She’s a realist and believes that planning for life’s unknowns is best. When she’s not busy with volunteer social work, she can be found scribbling away at her keyboard.
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