I learned about sports, play and the finer art of most games at a young age from my Dad. He liked to watch sports on the weekend in the 1970s during the days of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” I remember sitting together in front of the TV in our basement, and he’d explain the rules and objectives of each game, whether it was golf, curling, tennis, football, The Olympics (which I eventually worked on) and many more. At some point over the years, he also played these games with me. It was a way to connect with him and educational all at the same time.

Master the rules of the game

Every year my Dad went on a boys ski trip that usually coincided with my January birthday and the Superbowl. While I missed him being around on my birthday, I knew it would be my turn one year to go with him on that trip. And, when I turned 21, I got to go. I remember awesome skiing AND having to learn the rules of American football so I could be “one of the boys” while watching the game. 

See your role on the field

As a health coach and personal trainer, it dawned on me that optimal health like a football game. The object of the game of health is to get the “ball” into the endzone with as little interference as possible. The ball is our life, the other team is a disease, and the endzone is optimal health. The other team is always trying to tackle you and stop you from getting to the endzone. 

How do you prevent getting tackled?

When football players train, they learn how to avoid getting tackled. You are most likely not a football player, but the simple act of regular exercise can provide incredible health benefits.  Furthermore, play can do wonders for you in your quest to reach the endzone with good health. 

Exercise is like a wonder drug because it improves blood pressure, prevents cancers, boots mood, increases attention, enhances energy levels, bolsters sleep, and so much more. The medical industry knows that exercise is the world’s best drug – better than any pharmaceutical product. There is a lot of news these days around the reality that exercise is a real miracle drug.

Unfortunately, many still believe that exercise is only for weight loss. Weight loss is only one part of the total, long term health equation. When people reframe the reason they exercise to be for health, and not just for weight loss, it gives them a reason to keep showing up. 

Keep showing up

Like starting anything new, it can be uncomfortable at first. But in the long term, it doesn’t have to be tedious if you find something you love to do (play). If you stick with it long enough, the benefits to your well-being are huge. You will get to that endzone with a quality of life you deserve.