Summer is almost over. As children we look forward to summer vacation as a time to rest, relax and play. But as we get older many people tend to leave “play” behind.
But they shouldn’t.
Play isn’t just for little children. Playing can improve your health, your happiness and your productivity.
Laughter reduces stress
A hearty chuckle not only reduces stress levels it can improve memory and lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone connected with stress that can cause headaches, anxiety, and problems sleeping. Laughing is good for your mind and your body.
Play can make your brain grow
Playing games helps stimulate brain growth. Not just in children but in adults as well! In one experiment participants were given a few days to learn a series of nonsensical and playful names.
After the experiment an MRI showed growth of new gray matter. Gray matter helps us make decisions and process our thoughts. Having more of that is a GOOD thing!
Having fun makes you more productive
Taking breaks from hard work to do something enjoyable increases productivity and strengthens problem solving skills. Adding fun to office meetings has been found to improve communication between co-workers.
Fun isn’t just fun, it breaks down barriers – in your thinking and relationships with others which can lead to less stress and more work getting done faster.
Play is good for your heart
Physical activity is good for your heart and something we all need! Playing makes it better! Dancing burns 320 calories per hour, playing a quick game of soccer with friends burns 500, and a leisurely bike ride zaps over 420.
Playing not only burns calories but people who play outside have MORE fun, and on psychological tests score significantly higher enthusiasm, self esteem and vitality. They also show less tension, depression and fatigue from their exercise.
Playing is a great way to trick yourself into being more active!
Playing is good for you brain and your heart. It makes you stronger and smarter, as well as the fact that it’s FUN!! So this summer, whether you are a LEADPrep student or family member don’t forget to PLAY!