Get your mind out of the gutter, that’s not what I meant…although that’s fun and a great way to get some exercise too…
Recently I went up to the bay area in California to visit my sister. While I was there, we participated in something called “Bike Party,” or, as it’s (loudly) called in moments of bike-riding bliss by all who partake, “Bike Par-DEEEE!!” It was a hoot. A bunch of about 1200 adults of all ages pedaling from designated spot to spot, stopping only to dance or climb a jungle gym. Or to dance on top of a jungle gym. There was music and flashing lights on bikes and the occasional fire cracker shot into the sky. But mostly there was movement. And people. And joy.
There are so many things we get to enjoy as adults that we don’t necessarily as children – booze, staying up late, raw fish, whoopi. But we tend to forget the silly silly exuberance of things like flying down a hill on a bike as the sun sets, wind in hair, or running so fast you feel you might launch into the air, or dancing like the biggest goof, arms and legs flailing. I am unusual in that my job is physical – I make people jump up and down for a living. Even still, much of my time is spent writing at a computer, or reading at my desk. When I find myself in a moment of active bliss, I think, “Why don’t I do this MORE?!” Our bodies want to move. They want to be healthy. And when we engage them in this way, they thank us by flooding our brains with happy chemicals. Exercise doesn’t always have to be a five mile run on the treadmill or a grueling lifting session (although it’s good to incorporate these into your routine as well…) Put on some music and have the silliest dance party with your kids. Jump on a bike and pedal in the prettiest place near your home, sunshine splashing you in the face. Run down a hill as fast as your legs will carry you. Swing on a swing set. Move. Play. Giggle. Be a goose.
Your body will thank you for it. And your mouth will smile.