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The secret to staying fit in 2018: rediscover playtime!

All around me I see and hear people making the same New Year's Resolutions every year. To eat better, to exercise more, to get in shape. But I think most people know that this year will be no different from the last, and their good intentions will fall by the wayside once the stress and obligations of the New Year start to take their toll.

How about you - have you been making the same New Year's Resolutions for countless years? Do they actually work? No? Why is that? Why is it so hard to make fitness a part of your life? Maybe it's time to rethink the way we view fitness.

Being fit and active isn't just about forcing yourself to get to the gym 3 times a week to slog it out on a treadmill (although admittedly that's better than nothing!).

To me, it seems that the way we live our lives today means we have forgotten how to use our bodies the way they are supposed to be used - for running, jumping, climbing, dancing, swimming - basically, using our bodies to get things done. These days we spend so much time sitting down that the idea of going outside to climb a tree or run around a park can seem very strange. Fitness belongs in a gym, most people seem to think.

But do you remember the days when you were a kid, and you didn't have to think about "doing exercise" or "working out"? It was just something that happened while you were playing! But these days, the idea of chasing your friend around a park for no reason or jumping up and down with excitement seems ludicrous. Why? Because now you are an adult, and adults don't behave that way.

But why is that? Why do we grow out of playing?

I think that a better New Year's Resolution for 2018 is to be more childish. Learn how to play again, and make exercise a part of your every day life. Don't relax in front of the TV - relax outside in the park - having fun. Find another childishly like-minded friend, and go outside and climb a big rock. Do some acro together. Try a few handstands! Or better yet - do it with your own kids! Throw a ball. Explore some bushland. Go to the beach and learn how to cartwheel on the sand. Who cares if you look silly?

@jenessaprincessa and @missb.moves

@jenessaprincessa and @missb.moves

Or, find an activity you LOVE. For me, it's pole dance. I absolutely, freakin LOVE pole dance. It doesn't feel like I'm working out - it feels like FUN. It feels like playtime, in an environment where I feel comfortable and at ease (personally, going to gyms makes me feel uncomfortable and intimidated, as it often feels like a very macho and testosterone driven environment, and for that reason I love training at my pole dance studio, Pole Dance Academy).

Once you find the activity that you love, you won't even notice that you're exercising. It might be rock climbing, hiking, walking your dog, playing touch footy, pole dance - whatever it is - find it, and do it - often!

Make this year the year that you rediscover play, and re-learn how to use your body. It can do a lot more than you think it can.

And remember these golden words: you're only young once, but you can be immature forever!


Shimmy xxx

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