The good news? Having fun is part of being healthy!
While we're all pushing hard to be superhumanly productive and successful, it's easy to dismiss our hobbies and fun activities as distractions. It's obvious to most people that encouraging children to play is great for their development, but did you know that it is just as important for adults too?
Play, fun, hobbies, unstructured activities and doing stuff without expecting an outcome are all things that keep humans balanced, happy and connecting with others. It can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and many other ailments, particularly those related to old age. Fun AND good for your health? Yes!
Just think about it - you know the feeling when you're on holidays and you're doing something new and your face breaks out into a beaming smile and you feel an overwhelming sense of joy and contentment? Seems pretty obvious that a feeling or sensation like that is also good for you.
Listen to your pets... they know what's up.
There are many studies that show the positive impact of play for adults [see the references at the end for links!]. Not only is it good for your mental state, dealing with stress, connecting with others, your health and longevity, it also helps inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Fun and play can take many forms. The important thing is to not always attach a desired outcome to it. You can play just for the sake of playing. It doesn't always have to be about winning or gaining something in particular (other than JOY). Throw a ball around, try out a new sport, join a book club, grab some paints and a canvas. As long as it has nothing to do with your work or your day-to-day - it'll do!
For me, my fun and play includes going to art galleries, painting, meditation, walks in the countryside, playing sports in teams (sometimes this borders on work as I am a teenie bit competitive). I love to travel and always make sure I have something exciting lined up to look forward to. I try to get to as many different, new places as I can each year so that I can get to know different people, places and culture.
So, grab a friend, get out there, get the giggles and enjoy.
It's hard to avoid drinking at this time of year and it's also a time to let your hair down a bit so here are my tips for choosing the least worst drinks!
Here are my top ten tips for staying on track in the festive season, keeping that body and mind in a semi-functional state, while still enjoying yourself. Have all the fun while mitigating the January blues!
Meet Strong Friend Travis Young who tells his story of overcoming extreme challenges and not giving up. He still faces his demons every day and yet manages to be a positive force in people's lives.
Knowledge - the final piece of the R.O.C.K Principles Puzzle. As they say, knowledge is everything, knowledge is power. Keep learning about yourself, those around you and the world in general and you will always keep growing.
This year, my birthday present to myself was a pretty fantastic fitness retreat in Ibiza with my friends Felicity Cole and Gus Martin from The Life Project Adventures. Check out the pics and prepare to get jealous of all that sunshine.
Meet Sean Phillips: an excellent coach and no-fuss human who is all about trying to be good to others and help where he can. Read all about his story.
The results from our breakfast survey are in! We asked what a healthy breakfast means to you, whether you think your morning routine is ideal and lots more.
So by now we are all wised up on setting realistic goals, being realistic with yourself and how being organised can help stop you from making bad decisions. Consistency is essential to this process. The longer you are consistent with an activity the more likely it is for it to become a habit. This might take 6 days, 6 weeks or 6 years - but it's worth it.
Meet Strong Friend Victoria Fritz who you may know from the BBC News Desk. Victoria is a huge source of inspiration, a client and, most importantly a friend. Check out her story.
If you've been thinking about learning how to do chin ups (or even if you haven't!) check out my next 4 accessory exercises to help you get there.