Lets play!

I knew it – I’ve said it all along – play is a need! I feel the truth of it in the core of my very being – we need to play – as much as we need to be loved, feel connected, eat, drink and sleep – we need to play. But, seriousness reigns, it has taken over, work and duties rule the world.

We play when we are children, but as soon as we start school we are trained to sit still, put play aside, in order to learn to concentrate on more important stuff, like Math, Social Studies and English.

We are hushed and told to behave, we learn what is appropriate and what is not – and as we grow, sadly, play becomes more and more inappropriate. “You are too old for that! ” Play becomes a guilty pleasure taking our focus away from the “real” things in life, like work.

Dr. Stuart Brown, a researcher who has dedicated his life to the study of play and how play affects us, has found wonderful things about the importance of work, and so sorry: play! His research shows that play is good for us!

Kids do it, naturally. People in love do it, naturally. Animals do it, naturally. We all do it, naturally! But most of us work to suppress that part of us, many of us have actually forgotten how to do it and  become uncomfortable even thinking about it. The old messages come up – don’t be silly now – it’s not appropriate – don’t make a fool of yourself, and so on.

I am so happy I stumbled upon Dr. Stuart Brown and learned about his research on play. Play is a need.

At the moment I am devouring Dr. Brown’s book that is simply called Play. On the back of his book it says:

Play is fun, but it is anything but trivial. It is a basic biological drive as integral to our health as sleep and nutrition. When we play, we are open to possibility and the sparks of new insights. Play – defined as any kind of purposeless, all-consuming,restorative activity – is the single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness.”

I am sure he is right – if we don’t play there is an imbalance, there is something missing. I am sure you will agree with me that nothing heals like a good laugh, play makes us forget and we are in the moment, nothing else matters  –  it is food for the soul, and at the same time we connect with others and create bonds.

I hope you will enjoy this Ted Talk

The message is clear – LET’S PLAY 😉

More about the book,  http://www.stuartbrownmd.com/

Life is too important to be taken seriously – Oscar Wilde

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Make running part of your life – for good

Jogging is such a perfect way to unwind, relax your mind, and recharge the body. It is impossible to go out for a run and return back, grumpy – it’s simply, not possible. Jogging is an excellent mood enhancer, it works every time! Professionally, it is often a part of the treatment for depression and stress.

Jogging is also a great way to solve problems and ignite your creative juices. Feeling empty or stuck with a problem? Get changed, put on the old running shoes and hit the road. Chances are that the problem will solve itself as you run – all of a sudden you can see things in a new perspective and find a solution.

Running/jogging is a great way to get some “you time” – away from it all.

I am sure most of us will agree that jogging is good for us, but many will also agree with me that it is really hard to actually establish the routine of running, several times a week, every week, every month, every year, year after year.

I see too many people out there looking as though they are not enjoying it at all – pressuring themselves way too hard, beyond healthy, looking stressed, in pain almost – running is just another thing on the to-do-list.

Considering running as a chore is stressful, no fun and you are much more likely to injure yourself ! I’m quite sure that running this way is not healthy either!

I have been a jogger, on an off, my whole life – but it is not until 2 years ago, that I have actually become a faithful runner and I couldn’t live without it!

While out running the other day, I was thinking “how did it happen?”.  For years, I had been an on-and-off runner, usually running  2-3 K max two or three times a week. I would be doing this for some months and then the “monkey mind” would finally convince me I didn’t need it any longer. Then I would stop for a couple of months, till I finally got a grip on my self and started all over again. I did not enjoy it, I forced myself and I actually hated it! I also got injured from running again and again, my knees would bother me, then one foot would become sore with plantar fasciitis, and I would stop, again!

This is how I did it

I was told about Jeff Galloway’s Run -Walk -Run program and that changed everything for me

Jeff Galloway is my hero – he taught me all I needed to know to motivate me to hit the road and keep running.

Galloway is an American Olympian and after many injuries he invented his “Run-Walk-Run” method that has inspired thousands to start running and keep at it. He is the author of many books – he even wrote a book called “Running until you’re 100”!  His message is clear – anyone can run!

By adding more walks in to your runs you:

  • Run injury free
  • your muscles recover faster after each run
  • you gently but surely improve your capability
  • you listen to your body
  • your runs are stress free
  • your runs are enjoyable
  • you feel the improvement week after week

I swear by Galloway’s program. It fits perfect with my philosophy that we have to listen to the body and do mindful running.

This is how I got started, inspired by Galloway:

  •  Run-walk-run, every other day – so for example Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday is your, run-walk-run days
  •  30 min every time
  • Then Mondays – Wednesdays – Fridays,  are walk days – 30 min.
  • Saturdays, a longer run – by doing this, you really improve! You will feel that your usual 30 min run-walk-run becomes a piece of cake – a run in the park 🙂
  • Sunday is rest day – important to have this!
  • Try to get out the same time, every day – to create a routine.
  • Find a running buddy – it is always easier if you know someone is waiting for you out there.
  • Make time – wake up an hour early, for example. Do you know how beautiful it is outside early in the morning? (see this)

In the beginning I was walking a lot more than I was running. To be totally honest with you I could not run 10 steps without being out of breath. As I kept to the program, each time I could run a little longer. It doesn’t matter, as long as we get out – that is the most important.

By following this program you will very quickly, feel improvement. Make sure you can always carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing. Take it easy – AND put in as many walk breaks as you need. Who cares?

I love Oscar Wilde’s philosophical quote:- Life is too important to be taken seriously! This is true when it comes to running too!

Get out, have fun and above all enjoy your run!!

Links to Jeff Galloway’s website and books;

Jeff Galloway

Running, getting started

Running until you’re 100

A Morning Run in Copenhagen

I grabbed the opportunity to join in the fun by running the 5k wordpress run. A brilliant idea by WordPress – you simply run/walk/skip/dance/jog/skate/ 5k wherever you are in this world and then you blog about it.

As some of you may know I am visiting Copenhagen, and what better way to breathe in my old city than by running through its beautiful streets? I long to see  the little mermaid again – to give her a good morning kiss. I’m up and out by 7am – the only thing I forgot while planning this – a terrible jet-lag.

So off I go and this just proves that as soon as you get yourself out there it is amazing!! It’s absolutely fabulous – I have Copenhagen all to myself and the sun is rising, the air is fresh and not a person in the streets.

Right away, I meet this lovely little family:

I continue out to Langelinje and pass Gefion springvandet – revisiting my childhood.

Copenhagen is the “city of towers” and when I turn around I see the tower of the old stone English church where I was married and behind its steeple, the magnificent dome of the Marble church right next to where we live when we are here in Copenhagen.

I continue my run along Langelinje enjoying the fresh sea breeze and my solitude on the path.

Suddenly I see her sitting there in the morning sun. The little mermaid – I love her – and either my jet-lag or the sea breeze is suddenly making my eyes moisty.

I turn around and run back towards the city center – wanting to enjoy more of the city in the early morning sun.

Past Amalienborg, where Queen Margrethe lives – a beautiful palace in the center of Copenhagen with the Marble Church in the background. Past the small dock where the royal family, kids, grandchildren, and 2 dachshunds embark on their way to other parts of Denmark – we are in the land of the vikings remember, so by ship of course.

Run, run, run – I am honestly enjoying this run through Wonderful Copenhagen that holds so much  history, culture, architecture and beauty. An adventure through my own city and I mindfully see things that I just took for granted when I lived here. I am loving every minute.

I reach the old harbour – Nyhavn – a romantic place from the seafaring days but  today is full of restaurants and cafes. The place where everyone longs to sit outside in the sunshine and well into the long light summer nights.

This morning it is still quiet but later today it will be packed full of people enjoying life in the sunny side of the street!

And the quiet side of Nyhavn on the other side

Round the corner from Nyhavn I almost fall into a pile of bikes! Copenhagen is a paradise for many things among them cycling. And there are many bicycles!

How about this cute “bike-dress”!

I fell in love with this old lamp on my way home

And this adorable door

I love running – I can explore, I can experience, I can inhale life, I can do it anytime,  it’s cheap, I don’t have to book or reserve – I just do it, anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

On the way home I run into “Joe and the Juice” and get a big glass of Arth Away – a glass of green juice made from fresh spinach, apples and pineapple – I’m off to enjoy the rest of the day! Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday.