Cartoons were like a religion to me as a kid in the ’70’s.  

Being the youngest child of four, I would head down to the TV room every Saturday morning and watch my favourite cartoons before my siblings and parents would wake up.

It was heaven. Me, the TV and my dog, Molson!

I can still sing all the words to the commercial jingles, too, especially the McDonalds ones – they were the most catchy. 

“You deserve a break today,

So get up and get away,

To McDonald’s.”

That little girl would grow up to be a health coach, and not be a frequent McDonald’s customer (although who doesn’t love some salty fries from time to time), but there was an element of that 70’s jingle that does hold true for me – “you deserve a break today!” 

I encourage everyone to take a break today (and every day) through play. 

You deserve to look after yourself, and moving throughout the day is one of the best ways to prevent disease while improving your quality of life.  

Why?

Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality.* 

Canadians are spending upwards of 10 hours a day in an inactive state. The long-term pandemic effects increase stress levels, burnout, and the feeling of being disconnected. The least we can do for ourselves is to start moving a little more. 

So, where do you start? 

Why not look at play as exercise and the whole day as an opportunity to find the time.

A study published in January 2022 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that if everyone modestly increased their activity levels by just ten more minutes a day, we could prevent over 100,000 deaths per year (in the US alone).**

Getting more play in your day is about proactive wellness, and it has so many benefits for your mental health too!

I loved when I interviewed world-renowned psychiatrist Dr. John Ratey for my book, and he emphasized the importance of even a slight increase in daily movement. 

“Hippocrates wrote about the benefit of exercise for depression and raising the mood. Study after study from almost every country in the world shows that exercise is probably one of the best ways to treat depression as well as avoid getting into the depressive state.

Exercise is a universal treatment that’s magical in many ways – and it’s fairly free.” 

Today, and every day, go ahead, take a break from school, work and screen time, and prioritize play.  

If you need help, you can find 150 Ways to play in The Play Book, just sayin’!

Let the world be your gym and have fun! You deserve a break today and every day.

Play on!

Your friend and coach,

Janet

*https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/resources/key-facts-and-stats

**https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2788473?resultClick=1